Second thoughts about first impressions at UBS

This is a follow-up to my previous post about Swiss bank UBS’s outrageously detailed employee dresscode. I wasn’t the only one to jump on the absurdity of the 40-plus-page tome that instructed employees on everything from the color of their underwear to buffing their toenails to prevent stocking snags. In fact, the dresscode received widespread derision and, as reported in the Huffington Post, UBS has decided to pare it to a booklet with more general guidelines for impressing customers “with a polished presence and sense of Swiss precision and decorum.”

UBS spokesman Andreas Kern says that the bank is “reviewing what is important to us.” Thankfully, if belatedly and perhaps begrudgingly, the bank has realized that policing its retail bankers’ underwear choices does not top its priority list. I wonder if the bank’s round-about admission that it went overboard will re-instill a sense that it trusts its employees to be professional adults with an innate sense of appropriate appearance and behavior in a buttoned-up office environment. If so, maybe that the bank’s customers can enjoy top-notch service from bankers who aren’t distracted by paranoia of getting called on the carpet by the fashion police.

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