Remember that UBS dress-code? The one that commanded women at the Swiss bank to avoid black nail varnish and everyone to trim their toenails? This week, another Germanic bank has pushed the boundaries of corporate dress sensibilities: Bank Frick, a small bank in Liechtenstein (and with an office in London), has gifted each of its employees a pair of corporate-trainers (sneakers if you're in the U.S.) to wear to the office.
The sneakers in question are the Frick company colours of blue and white. They're being distributed to mark Frick's 20th anniversary and a shift to what the bank describes as, "a modern, hybrid style that constitutes a middle ground between business and casual clothing."
It's not just trainers. Frick employees are also now permitted to undo a top button and to discard their tie (if male). If female, they must wear "one business style element" to their outfit, and the rest is up to them. The only stipulation is that the outfit must be "clean and tidy" with "no holes."
Where Frick has ventured first, other banks may follow. Goldman Sachs already allows its technology staff to wear "totally casual" clothes, but has yet to produce its own blue gym shoes. Anecdotally, the preferred tech shoe is Yeezy trainer, although this may be a little 2017.
Frick says the company shoes and the freestyle dress code are intended to reflect the fact that its, "visitors and clients have more of a fintech or blockchain background." The bank supports initial coin offerings (ICOs), provides custody of crypto assets and dealing services in leading cryptocurrencies, and makes crypto assets bankable.
Frick says it's confident the whole package will make it a more attractive employer, both to people inside and outside of banking. For those who might have an aversion to light blue and white trainers, Frick does offer room for self-expression: dark blue or turquoise trainers are also an option.
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