BARCLAYS Capital is planning to significantly crank up the basic pay it gives its 22,000 investment bankers in a move to keep pace with salary hikes from competitors.<br /><br />The bank is said to be preparing salary rises of up to 150 per cent, with the cap on basic pay to increase from £120,000 to £300,000 a year. <br /><br />BarCap, headed by Bob Diamond, refused to confirm the figures, although it said certain salaries would increase more than others. Pay will be backdated to no earlier than June this year.<br /><br />It is understood the greatest benefits will be felt by junior and mid-level staff, as well as those working in back office roles such as IT. <br /><br />BarCap is overhauling its salary structure after losing out in the recruitment field to the likes of Goldman Sachs, which sparked a row by paying its employees 46 per cent more year-on-year after a $3.1bn (£1.9bn) third quarter profit.<br /><br />As a result of the pay review the proportion of BarCap salaries paid in the form of bonuses will decrease. <br /><br />However, this is said to be a reflection of a wider industry trend rather than a reaction to the populist backlash against bankers’ remuneration.<br /><br />Paying higher salaries is seen by some as a way of circumventing the increasing regulation of bonuses.<br /><br />Barclays’ Diamond, who has netted a windfall himself recently through the sale of his stake in Barclays Global Investors, has defended the bank’s right to pay bonuses and competitive bonuses.<br /><br />Instead of taking government funding during the depths of the credit crunch the bank’s management looked to attract funding from the Middle East in an effort to boost its capital ratios.<br /><br />BarCap has been in an expansionist mood recently, hiring freely from its competitors and making good returns on its acquisition of Lehman in the US.