Four out of five European banks plan to raise executive base salaries to counter regulation-driven bonus cuts next year, potentially undermining the effectiveness of the planned variable pay cap in bringing down pay.
An EU-wide bonus cap will from 2014 limit variable pay to up to twice the level of salary.
However, 79 per cent of European banks surveyed by Mercer, the consultancy, said they were planning to raise base pay for the employees affected.
(Read More: EU Bank Bonus Cap to Put Pressure on US: Schulz)
Based on such efforts to increase fixed pay, more than half the banks said they would keep overall pay levels mostly unchanged next year, according to Mercer's global financial services pay report to be published on Thursday.
The report highlights how European bank boards are considering ways to alter pay structures in advance of the new rules amid worries they could prompt an exodus of senior talent to overseas rivals.