Money News: No longer done roaming: overseas call costs to plummet

The cost of using your mobile abroad is to drop by more than two-thirds but consumers will still have to pay to pick up calls, the European Commission ruled last week.

The new proposed regulation, largely the work of Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner for Information, Society and Media, aims to ensure that prices paid by consumers for roaming services within the European Union "are not unjustifiably higher than those ... within their own country".

Today, the cost of ringing home from abroad is around four times that of a domestic call.

The Commission will cap both wholesale prices - those charged between rival mobile network providers for transferring consumers' calls - and prices paid by the user.

In the latter case, it will wait up to six months after the new regulation is enforced before imposing its price cap.

There will also be greater transparency on costs, Ms Reding said; mobile phone companies will have to give consumers regular updates about changes in roaming charges.

However, one proposal made earlier this year - to scrap the charge for picking up a call while abroad - has been dropped after heavy lobbying from the telecoms industry.

Many UK firms have already begun to cut roaming costs, in- cluding Vodafone, Orange and O 2.

Although the Commission said its proposals would "transform mobile roaming from being a nuisance for consumers into an attractive service", not everyone was impressed.

"This proposal is a disappointment to the consumer," said Robert Kenley of the price-comparison website moneysupermarket.com. "We would like to see all extra charges abolished for EU calls."

'Dormant' accounts: New homes for 'forgotten' £400m

At least £400m of forgotten savings and cash left by customers in "dormant" accounts should be reinvested in poor communities via a new "social investment" bank, a government-sponsored consultation has suggested.

The independent body would help fund small businesses, support credit unions and pay for free financial advice from trained staff. It could even invest in partnerships between local housing associations and commercial banks to create new, lower-cost mortgages and personal loans for those on small incomes.

And regardless of what happens to the cash, account holders must always be able to get it back, plus any interest due, when they discover their "lost" money.

The proposals were made last week in a paper published by the Commission on Unclaimed Assets. This looked at how best to use the hundreds, if not thousands, of millions of pounds that have been lying idle in accounts for at least a decade. Although the £400m reflects a recent government estimate of forgotten cash in banks and building societies, the figure is much higher if money in life insurance funds and products from National Savings and Investments (NS&I), including premium bonds, is taken into account.

Recent estimates from bodies such as the Unclaimed Assets Register - which, for a fee, will scour different financial institutions for money on your behalf - suggest some £15bn is unclaimed.

The consultation will run until the end of this year. It will examine questions such as what period constitutes "dormant", and is expected to produce a final report before next year's Budget.

To check if you have "lost" assets, ring the British Bankers' Association Dormant Account Unit on 020 7216 8909, or the Building Societies Association on 020 7437 0655. NS&I can be contacted on 0845 964 5000.

Graduate jobs: Out of university and on to £23,000

The number of graduate trainee jobs on offer is up by nearly 17 per cent on last year - the highest rise for more than a decade, according to new research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

Companies received an average of 28 applicants for each job, the survey found, while graduates could expect an average salary of £23,136 - up by 2.9 per cent.

The highest-paying employers were fund managers or investment banks. These offered new recruits an average salary of £36,000.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

    Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

    £55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

    Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

    £16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine