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Banking Commissioner's Statement
Regarding Court Ruling on ATM Surcharge Case

April 8, 1999  -

Connecticut Banking Commissioner John P. Burke said that he was disappointed in a federal court ruling issued today by US District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton enjoining him from enforcing a November 1998 cease and desist order preventing three banks from imposing surcharges on non-customers.

Judge Arterton's ruling, however, did not directly address the banking commissioner's interpretation of the ATM statute in dispute. Rather, she addressed the question of who has the authority to administratively enforce state banking laws against in-state branches of national banks and determined that the Comptroller of the Currency, not the commissioner, is empowered to directly enforce state banking law against national banks. Therefore, the banking commissioner's 1995 interpretation that existing state law prohibits banks in Connecticut from imposing surcharges remains in effect.

Having conferred with State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Burke expects to seek an immediate injunction in state superior court to keep the banks from surcharging and to file an appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

See earlier news release for more information.