As Silicon Valley influence grows, JPMorgan loosens dress code

As Silicon Valley influence grows, JPMorgan loosens dress code

In the age of fintech, Wall Street aristocracy JPMorgan Chase is loosening its dress code in a bid to shed its stuffy image - although bankers will still be expected to wear pullovers rather than hoodies.

In a memo seen by the Wall Street Journal, the bank says staffers can now wear business-casual - not weekend-casual - in a move that "reflects how the way we work is changing".

A source tells the Journal that the decision to loosen up comes weeks after CEO Jamie Dimon and the bank's management committee took a trip to Silicon Valley where they met counterparts at tech titans as well as potential partners and rivals from the fintech startup scene.

The meetings left top brass feeling that their strict dress code was out of step with their West Coast hosts.

The change will mainly affect customer-facing JPMorgan employees. Many of the bank's 237,000 staffers - including 40,000 techies - already have a relaxed code and are free to turn up for work in their jeans.

Achieving the correct balance between professionalism and startup relaxation can prove tricky for the old-fashioned banking sector. Last year Barclays boss John McFarlane decided to clamp down on t-shirts and flip-flops at the firm's Canary Wharf HQ over fears of offending high-profile guests.

Meanwhile, Canadian direct-only bank Tangerine has taken a very relaxed attitude to workplace attire, introducing a casual dress code where the only rule is that staffers are "presentable".

In a LinkedIn post entitled 'Buy a pair of jeans', CEO Peter Aceto says that after investigating the issue, Tangerine found "no empirical data that proves that workplace attire either improves or degrades employee performance or business success".

With that in mind, he has decided that employees can wear what makes them comfortable, particularly if it entices younger workers: "If all it takes is a pair of jeans on a Tuesday to get the “Thumbs-up Generation” to like working at Tangerine, why not let them wear their darn jeans?"

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 03 June, 2016, 16:08Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

this is for sure the largest impact of fintech on banking