Sam Dunn: Tomorrow's leaders - don't copy today's

I have great hopes for the finance sector's new recruits

The howls of despair at vertiginous house prices continue. Now it's the turn of UK graduates to express their dismay at the cost of getting on the property ladder, with more than half unable to buy a home, according to a new survey.

Even the potential solution of "buddying up" with a friend or partner to pool finances and buy isn't seen as practical, insurer Scottish Widows has found. This is because the cost of one housemate leaving and being bought out by the other is still too high for most.

At least the jobs market for graduates is buoyant. Starting salaries for trainee positions in many industries hover around the £23,000 mark - not too far off the average UK wage.

It might not surprise anyone that graduates are most drawn to those industries that pay very well. These are, principally, banks, the City, fund managers and accountants, reports the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

I have great hopes for this latest crop of fresh-faced recruits to the financial services industry. Many will have emerged from university with huge debts on student loans, as well as owing thousands on credit cards or personal loans.

The struggle to cope with all this should have instilled a considerable sense of responsibility towards their personal finances, and how to look after them.

As future managers and executives, they'll certainly find it hard to do a worse job than those in charge right now.

Take a glance at all the regulatory inquiries under way. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is analysing mortgage fees and the Office of Fair Trading is looking at current accounts and payment protection insurance, having just forced credit card lenders to slash their penalty fees.

Meanwhile, to counter accusations of opaque terms and conditions, the Association of British Insurers is engaged in a campaign to persuade providers to present critical illness policies in a clear way.

Sales of equity-release products - complex loans secured on borrowers' homes - by financial advisers are also being "monitored" by the FSA.

And finally, the Equitable Life debacle rumbles on in Europe as campaigners for recompense for lost pensions take their fight to an international court.

As the graduates settle into their new company roles, I'd like to imagine some of them will look ahead to the days when they're decision makers, and think differently about the way in which consumers should be treated.

Love lost at Lloyds TSB

Here's a thing: transfer any outstanding debt on to a Lloyds TSB credit card and you'll pay a balance-transfer fee. Nothing unusual about this, given that all the debt you're shifting over won't earn interest for nine months. But that's not the end of it.

Not content with the balance-transfer fee alone, Lloyds TSB now charges interest on it as standard policy. So while you pay 0 per cent on the transferred debt itself, the fee incurs interest at 15.9 per cent - the rate for new purchases.

Say you switch £1,000 to the bank. There's no interest to pay on this but you'll pick up a £25 balance-transfer fee.

Over the next two months, minimum repayments of 2 per cent won't just be allocated to paying down a chunk of your original debt. They'll also have to whittle down the balance-transfer fee and the interest charged on it.

Sure, the fee interest is small: in the above example, Lloyds TSB calculates that it's no more than 36p. But in terms of brass neck and complicated - even cunning - ways of clawing back money from custo- mers, it takes some beating.

Imagine 10,000 borrowers switching to Lloyds TSB with an average balance of £5,000 - instead of just one customer with £1,000 to transfer. The money begins to add up.

A Lloyds TSB spokes- woman says its rates, charges and fees are "completely transparent" and "set out very clearly".

That may be, but none of its major rivals charge interest on their balance- transfer fee during the 0 per cent period.

Given the strong competition in the market - as well as everyone's need to keep costs to a minimum - this is the sort of behaviour on which consumers should turn their backs.

s.dunn@independent.co.uk

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

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

    SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

    £22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

    Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

    Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

    Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map