Much-mocked UBS dress code to go
Good news for Swiss bankers: They may soon be allowed to wear red underwear, black nail polish — and even eat garlic. HT reports.business Updated: Jan 18, 2011 23:02 IST
Good news for Swiss bankers: They may soon be allowed to wear red underwear, black nail polish — and even eat garlic.
Swiss banking giant UBS AG said it is revising its 44-page dress code telling its Swiss staff how to present themselves, which generated worldwide ridicule for its micromanagement of their dressing and dining habits.
The code instructs employees on everything from their breath — no garlic or onions, please — to their underwear, which should be skin-coloured.
“We’re reviewing what is important to us,” UBS spokesman Andreas Kern said.
He said the bank would issue a pared-down booklet with more general guidelines on how to impress customers with a polished presence and sense of Swiss precision and decorum. The existing code tells female employees how to apply makeup, what kind of perfume to wear and what colour stockings are acceptable. It advises them not to show roots if they colour their hair and to avoid black nail polish.
“You can extend the life of your knee socks and stockings by keeping your toenails trimmed and filed,” Zurich-based UBS told its female staff. “Always have a spare pair: stockings can be provisionally repaired with transparent nail polish and a bit of luck.”
Men are told how to knot a tie, to make sure they get a haircut every month and to avoid unruly beards and earrings. “Glasses should always be kept clean,” the code instructs. “On the one hand this gives you optimal vision, and on the other hand dirty glasses create an appearance of negligence.” The guidelines also recommended that employees always wear wristwatches to signal “trustworthiness and a serious concern for punctuality.”
The UBS style guide prompted derision and disbelief when it first surfaced last month, but Kern insisted it was still good for the bank’s reputation in the long run. “Everyone knows the staff in our banks strive for the perfect look,” he said.
So will employees now be able to wear red underwear? Who checked to see if they did before? Kern declined to give specific examples of planned changes.