Swiss bank issues non-sexy dress code

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2010, 10:42 AM IST

London: All staff in a Swiss bank has been told to wear non-sexy apparel. While women were told to wear flesh-coloured underwear and avoid flashy jewellery, men were asked to wear classic professional suits and avoid socks with cartoon motifs.

UBS - erstwhile Union Bank of Switzerland - has ordered its staff in a 43-page dress code specifying in minute detail what staff members can and can`t wear, a daily reported.

The women have been told to wear loose-fitting skirts and flesh-coloured underwear.

UBS asked the female staff to avoid flashy jewellery and coloured artificial nails. Men have been told to choose ties with patterns that "match the bone structure of the face".

Under the rules for women, it states: "You should not wear flashy jewellery or skirts that are too tight behind. Underwear must not be visible against clothing or spilling out of clothing. Rather, they should be flesh-coloured under white shirts."

"Tattoos, piercings and ankle-chains are not desirable and do not give an impression of professionalism."

"Employees should also ensure that natural roots are not showing if they have coloured their hair, and not wear fancy and coloured artificial fingernails," it said.

For men, the dress code stated: "You should wear a straight-cut two-button jacket and trousers that make up part of a classic professional suit. Wear only ties that match the bone structure of the face and do not wear socks with cartoon motifs."

"Three days of stubble is not permitted and a visit to the barber is recommended once every four weeks," it continued.

Employees of both sexes have been urged to "avoid smelling of strong scent, garlic, onion and cigarette smoke".

Officials said the move is part of a bid to improve the image of UBS, which suffered after it accepted a 37-billion-pound bailout in the 2008 financial crisis.

The bank is trying to rebuild its image after receiving a multi-billion dollar bailout in the wake of the global financial crisis.

A UBS spokesman said clients and staff had reacted well to the rules, which are being applied at five offices in Switzerland.

"The reputation of UBS makes up our most precious asset. So adopting irreproachable behaviour implies having an impeccable presentation," it said.

Earlier this year, business banking officer Debrahlee Lorenzana, 33, launched legal action against Citibank claiming she was sacked by the firm for wearing clothes that were "too sexy".

IANS