Goldman Sachs' new dress code makes space for hipsters at banking giant

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Goldman Sachs has relaxed its corporate dress code in the hope of attracting hipster technology workers.

The 148-year-old investment bank, which has offices in the City and New York, sent software developer and engineering staff a memo telling them they can dress casually, but might think about smartening up to meet clients.

Goldman Sachs is known in the Square Mile for its strict rules on what workers can wear, which includes a ban on “short trousers” for men.

But as the bank seeks to boost its digital capabilities, it is battling deep-pocketed global technology firms such as Google and Facebook and also start-ups in neighbouring Shoreditch to recruit the best talent.

Top developers and engineers are in demand by London’s booming tech firms, with many offering workplace perks such as free food, better hours and a more relaxed management style.

About 8,000 bank employees work in tech departments, whose jobs include making trading platforms more efficient and building consumer lending platforms.

In the memo seen by the Standard, chief information officer Elisha Wiesel told tech workers and engineers their departments were adopting a “year-round casual dress code” following suggestions from staff.

Mr Wiesel wrote: “I am pleased to share that, effective immediately, we will be adopting a year-round casual dress code for Engineering globally.

“Based on your suggestions, I hope this initiative will help enhance the work environment and experience of our people.

“Please exercise judgment in determining when to adapt to business attire as circumstances dictate, particularly if you have a client meeting.”

But while casual clothing was allowed for tech departments, bankers must stick to the strict smart dress code.

Barclays has casual Fridays and JP Morgan Chase now describes its everyday dress code as “business casual”.

Goldman Sachs confirmed the memo but declined to comment.

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