How long before Goldman and JP Morgan increase salaries too?

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To our knowledge, four major banks have now increased salaries: UBS, BofA/Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup.

That leaves several banks that haven't, most notably Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Rumour has it that Credit Suisse already has salary hikes in the pipeline. Goldman, Deutsche and JPMorgan are silent on the subject.

Do these banks need to raise salaries too? One level, no: all have come through the financial crisis in comparatively good shape; JPMorgan and Goldman have repaid TARP cash, and Deutsche was unconstrained to begin with; all are places where the average banker wants to work.

However, they may yet find the allure of increasing salaries impossible to resist.

Headhunters point out that once managing directors become accustomed to salaries of $400-500k at UBS or Merrill Lynch, they won't want to trade them for salaries of $250-$300k at Goldman or Deutsche. Bonuses might be higher, but salaries are critical for mortgage borrowing and pensions.

This will make it difficult for banks that haven't hiked salaries to hire, at all levels of seniority.

Alan Johnson, managing director of pay consultants Johnson Associates says most banks can be expected to increase salaries, but that it won't happen in a uniform fashion. "All banks are in different circumstances," he says.

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