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

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Sport
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa
football
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
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: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

    £50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

    SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn