Foto: Keystone
Foto: Keystone
  • hc / dt / dl

Local News Summary of August, 6th

  • Flashback: The summer of the century in 2003
  • Bank employees need to wear suits, even in hot temperatures

Flashback: The summer of the century in 2003

The current heatwave has Switzerland firmly in its grip. But this was not the only heatwave in recent history. Fifteen years ago, there was a summer of the century that went down in history as a terrible natural disaster; with an estimated 70,000 deaths worldwide and economic losses of 13 billion US dollars. 

Record for breweries 

Swiss television also reported on the heatwave that summer. However, its focus was not on the economy and its fatal consequences, but instead on the desire to cool down – the consumption of mineral water and beer rose sharply that summer. It was so high, in fact, that the Eichhof brewery set a new record: it sold more beer than ever before, it was reported.

No summer of the century 2018 

This year, too, the temperature is not even slightly cooling down. Roger Perret, of Meteonews, has said that the summer of 2018 could reach an above-average level, but the high figures of 2003 will very likely not be topped. Nevertheless, the Swiss are still increasing their consumption of mineral water and beer this summer. Well, cheers! Have another nice summer week.

Bank employees need to wear suits, even in hot temperatures

An increasing number of companies are loosening their dress codes in this heat. Instead of a suit or dress, jeans and shorts are not only allowed – they are the order of the day.

Until a few years ago, you would hardly see a businessman without a tie, no matter how old he was. It was simply common to convey seriousness. Since then, a lot of water has flowed down the Rhine, and the dress code has changed dramatically. Following the American model, casual Fridays were introduced, the business shirt is sometimes worn openly and is no longer stuffed into the jeans. Both men and women like to exchange trousers, dress, and shoes for shorts and flip-flops. Tattoos, piercings or brandings become visible – perhaps the biggest change that traditional employers have to accept. 

Barfi.ch wanted to know whether even banks are finally adjusting their dress code in the high temperatures.

There are clear rules at Bank Cler. Basically, client advisors must wear a well-fitting dress with a knee-length skirt or a trouser suit in black. The shoes should also be black. A foulard serves as a colourful accessory. Likewise, customer advisors can choose between a tie, an Ascot scarf or handkerchief for the «well-fitting» black suit. Socks and shoes must also be black. Since the customer advisors do not have to wear jackets – except for during the consultation sessions themselves – and can wear a scarf or handkerchief instead of a tie, the bank sees no reason to loosen the dress codes, even in hot temperatures. In addition, most offices are cooled down to a pleasant average temperature with air conditioning.

Matters are slightly different at UBS. No company-wide clothing regulations apply here. In Switzerland, guidelines for employees are only applied in the client zones. These consist of a red accessory. Tie or foulard, both are fine. Further requirements include a white blouse or a white shirt, the obligatory dark suit, and black shoes. It goes without saying that the bank is very keen on a well-groomed appearance. Nose piercings or similar are therefore not necessarily welcome. Most employees work in air-conditioned buildings and receive fans on request. At UBS, the final word is always given by the superiors. They decide at their own discretion on measures to make working in a heatwave a little more pleasant for their employees.

As part of its new brand identity and to ensure a uniform external appearance, the Basler Kantonalbank (BKB) has introduced its «style guide» for all employees with customer contact. Therefore – what a surprise – gentlemen should wear a dark suit with white shirt and tie as well as black business shoes. Ladies are required to wear a dark dress with blazer or alternatively a dark trouser suit with white blouse, and black closed shoes. Both ladies and gentlemen wear accessories such as handkerchief or a foulard. In very hot temperatures, it is up to the branch management to allow employees in the public area of the branch to wear something else.

Compared to the BKB, the Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank does not have any clothing requirements. In customer contact, it remains important to show the customers respect for their clothing and to adapt to the respective situation.

Credit Suisse is even more easy-going and does not have any company-wide regulations with dress or make-up instructions. Experience has shown that employees dress correctly and well-groomed in contact with customers, even without binding guidelines, according to corporate communications.

As a contrast to black suits or dresses, the barfi.ch editorial team is very relaxed. Here, some of the reporters wear shorts, Hawaii shirts or T-shirts and white or blue sneakers with or without socks when writing their contributions. The ladies combine airy dresses with sneakers, Birkenstock sandals or ballet pumps. Suddenly, one or two tattoos have become visible. The team is as colourful and varied as their contributions. However, the person sent to to attend a Federal celebration in Muttenz has to dress like an English gentleman. Thereby, there is no risk being taken away as a suspected immediate threat by the Swiss secret service a second time because of jeans and a T-shirt.