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For UBS bankers, a head-to-toe style guide as precise as a Swiss watch (article)

clausc

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I was laughing this morning while reading this morning an article in a serious Swiss newspaper (Le temps - Geneva). They published the 'leaked' 44-page UBS dress-guide for their Swiss employees, unfortunately available only in French online (but with pics :)). It would be nice if somebody has the time to translate it, would be very funny to discuss it.


The guide for men and women is really detailed, some of the restrictions seem to bit a bit absurd, but frankly there are details that seem to come from SF.

Here's an article in English referencing it:


For UBS bankers, a head-to-toe style guide as precise as a Swiss watch
The Swiss banking giant UBS has released a dress code that mandates fingernail length, when women should apply perfume, and even the quality of a banker's underwear.
________________________________________
By Robert Marquand, Staff writer
posted December 14, 2010 at 5:01 pm EST
Paris
The Zurich-based UBS bank wants to ensure that its Swiss employees never top any list of the sartorially sloppy.
A new UBS dress code that was published in the Swiss media – and picked up today in France to great amusement in Paris – outlines dozens of pages of personal appearance management that's more fine-tuned than a Swiss watch.
The regulations designate a 1.5 millimeter maximum fingernail length for men, suggests that female bankers wear makeup and put on perfume directly after showering and not after lunch, advocates that shoes be changed daily to bring greater levels of “peace and serenity,” and mandates employee underwear that is skin-toned and “always made of superior quality textiles.”
And that’s just the beginning.
The Swiss bank is pioneering its precision dress code in six pilot projects designed for employees that deal with the public in order to project “truth, clarity …respect … our values and culture.”
The dress-for-banking-success manual is broken down into tips and guidance and includes chapters titled, “Shoes and Belts,” “Blouses,” “Personal Touch” (jewels and makeup), “The Suit,” and “The Shirt.”
Men should don footgear with a shoehorn; women should not wear new shoes. Suits must not only be charcoal grey, black, or dark blue, but dress coats must always be buttoned when employees stand, and open when sitting. Skirts must reach the middle of the knee with a tolerance for extending 5 centimeters below the joint.
Stockings that are "opaque" are out. Socks? Always black. Women may wear no more than seven jewels, men three. Scarves are compulsory, and to be tied with “authorized knots.”
The Paris online daily Rue 89 deemed the project “surreal” – and got some comedy-mileage out of a management-designated underwear color. The French don’t mind dressing up when it is needed; just don’t tell them to.
The Geneva-based Le Temps quotes a Swiss lawyer to the effect that, "The UBS document goes to such a degree of detail as to what the employee must wear that his dress could almost be considered as a work tool, and the employer could then have to pay for it."
Actually, UBS says it is in fact coughing up some cash for the pilot project, but isn’t saying how much.
 

clausc

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Another article discussing it:
Dress to Impress, UBS Tells Staff
By ELENA BERTON
First impressions count. This is the message Swiss bank UBS AG is sending its Swiss retail banking staff with a 43-page code dispensing advice on how to impress customers with a polished appearance.

Echoing rules applied at Swiss boarding schools, UBS's guidelines go beyond a list of dress "do's" and "don'ts" by providing hygiene and grooming tips often dotted with aphorisms worthy of fashion and beauty magazines.

The move is part of a test UBS is carrying out in Switzerland across five pilot branches. It follows a recent advertising campaign aimed at re-establishing confidence in the Swiss bank's brand and mending relations with clients.

As if taking a cue from style manuals, which often stress the importance of well-cut basic outfits in neutral colors, the bank expects its retail banking staff to wear suits in dark grey, black or navy blue, since these colors "symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety."

Short skirts are off limits for female staff, who are told the ideal length should reach the middle of the knee. Showy accessories and trendy spectacles are a no-no. The document isn't short of handy grooming tips.

"Light makeup consisting of foundation, mascara and discreet lipstick ... will enhance your personality," the code says, while advising women not to wear black nail polish and nail art.

The hair-care section notes studies have shown that properly cared-for hair and a stylish haircut "increase an individual's popularity."

View Full Image

AFP/Getty Images

Oswald J. Gruebel, chief executive of Swiss Bank UBS, speaks during a press conference in Zurich earlier this year.
On the other hand, designer stubble is out of the question for men, as is excessive facial hair.UBS's advice for men even extends to underwear, which should be of good quality and easily washable, but still remain undetectable. Black knee-high socks are preferable as they prevent showing bare skin when crossing legs, it says.

Strong fragrances are unadvisable in the presence of customers, along with garlic and cigarette breath, the code says. The solution: "Avoid garlic and onion-based dishes."

Accessorizing for male staff excludes items like bracelets and earrings, but wearing timepieces is encouraged, since wristwatches suggest "reliability and great care for punctuality."

Male employees are also warned about using hair dyes to mask their advancing age, since the "artificial color contrasts excessively with the actual age of your skin."

UBS spokesman Jean-Raphael Fontannaz acknowledged that the code may appear very detailed and "in line with Swiss precision," but pointed out that these guidelines were originally set up for temporary staffers who may be new to working in a banking environment.

He said the dress code may be rolled out in all UBS's branches in Switzerland if the test proves successful. "Even so, only around 1,500 [employees] would be affected, less than 10% of our staff in Switzerland," Mr. Fontannaz added.

"The goal is for clients to immediately know that they are at UBS when they are entering the bank," he said. "After the test phase we may implement the dress code, or adapt it, or not use it at all."


The UBS Dress Code: Do's and Don'ts
Do's
For women:

Wear your jacket buttoned.When sitting, the buttons should be unfastened.Make sure to touch up hair regrowth regularly if you color your hair.For men:

Store your suit on a large hanger with rounded shoulders to preserve the shape of the garment.Schedule barber appointments every four weeks to maintain your haircut shape.Don'ts
Eating garlic and onions Smoking or spending time in smoke-filled placesWearing short-sleeved shirts or cuff links Wearing socks that are too short, showing your skin while sittingAllowing underwear to be seenTouching up perfume during or after lunch breakUsing tie knots that don't match your face shape and/or body shape
 

Loudly

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Good on them. Odd about the skin-toned underwear though. What's that about? Note that it's aimed only at retail folks. There will no doubt still be plenty of slobbery elsewhere. edit: Someone helpfully translated the whole shebang into English and posted it: http://www.scribd.com/doc/45301801/T...-Code-Document
 

Nicola

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It's been on various news programs today. Other then the flesh coloured underwear I don't think anything sounds strange to me. Wouldn't it make more sense to require blouses etc to not be transparent?

BTW the news reports have mentioned a 52 page document.
 

Captain Winky

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I assume that is intended for women who wear a white or other light blouse or skirt, so that you aren't seeing dark underwear lines. Probably a little more PC than advocating all women wear thongs...
 

changy

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"Do not wash, nor ever iron your shirts yourself"
 

patrickBOOTH

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This is definitely over the top, but personally I don't care for the attire worn by Chase bank employees, the blue button down collar shirts with Chase written on the breast. It just reminds me of fast food restaurant uniforms. At least employees at Bank of America branches wear suits. Gives a better impression though totally pointless in the grand scheme of commercial banks.
 

Nicola

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Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
This is definitely over the top, .

From glancing at the mens requirements I don't see anything over the top.
 

otc

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I like that they suggest you rest ties and shoes between wears...also they suggest replacing the heels early


Most american bankers probably don't own shoes with replaceable heels..
 

patrickBOOTH

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Originally Posted by Nicola
From glancing at the mens requirements I don't see anything over the top.


Sure, but the presentation of all of it is definitely over the top.
 

changy

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I do think they bring up some good points.

"In general, it is not advisable to wear ajacket whose pockets are overfilled, as this disruptspace. Similarly, do not store a purse toobulky in your trouser pockets"

Is this for their private bank or everyone including retail?
 

EBugatti

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This is for retail.

A real banker would laugh if told he had to wear a UBS-logo red tie, only white barrel-cuff shirts and black shoes!!!
 

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