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UK to probe 150 bln stg credit card market

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - Britain's financial watchdog said it would launch a competition review into the 150 billion pound ($250 billion) credit card market to assess if people in financial trouble are being treated fairly.

The Financial Conduct Authority said on Thursday 30 million Britons hold at least one credit card and it would explore whether competition in this market was working effectively for consumers, especially those in difficult financial situations.

It said it would launch the review at the end of this year.

The FCA said recent research showed 9 million Britons were considered to be in serious debt and that a considerable number of people, "survival borrowers", often feel they have no option but to borrow money, through a payday loan or using a credit card, to help pay their bills. ($1 = 0.6012 British Pounds) (Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Huw Jones)