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UK to crack down on "rip off" card fees

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - Britain will stop companies ranging from takeaway food apps to airlines from charging an extra fee to consumers who want to use credit cards and other payment services, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

The total value of surcharges for the use of debit and credit cards, which have also included fees from government departments, was estimated at 473 million pounds ($617 million)in 2010, the ministry said.

"Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain and that's why card-charging in Britain is about to come to an end," Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to the Treasury, said in a statement.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she wants her government to do more for "just managing" households who face wage increases that are lagging behind inflation.

Under the changes due to be introduced on Jan. 13, surcharge fees will be eliminated for payments including those made on American Express credit cards, Paypal and Apple Pay, going further than a European Union requirement to eliminate fees for consumers using Visa and Mastercard cards, the ministry said.

Details of the new rules are due to be published on Wednesday. ($1 = 0.7665 pounds) (Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Alison Williams)