You can keep your red underwear, bankers told

Good news for Swiss bankers: They may soon be allowed to wear red underwear, black nail polish – and even eat garlic.

Swiss banking giant UBS AG said yesterday that it was revising its 44-page dress code, which generated worldwide ridicule for its micromanagement of its Swiss staff's dressing and dining habits.

The code instructed employees on everything from their breath – no garlic or onions, please – to their underwear, which should be skin-coloured.

"We're reviewing what is important to us," UBS spokesman Andreas Kern said. He said the bank would issue a pared-down booklet with more general guidelines on how to impress customers with a polished presence and sense of Swiss precision and decorum.

The existing code told female employees how to apply makeup, what kind of perfume to wear and what colour stockings were acceptable. It also advised them to avoid showing roots if they colour their hair and not to use black nail polish.

"You can extend the life of your knee socks and stockings by keeping your toenails trimmed and filed," the Zurich-based company added. "Always have a spare pair: stockings can be provisionally repaired with transparent nail polish and a bit of luck."