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Supercool biz: Japanese megabank to let workers wear T-shirts, jeans for summer

A Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. signboard is seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, on March 21, 2019. (Mainichi/Kazuhisa Soneda)

TOKYO -- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) will allow about 3,500 employees at its headquarters in the capital's Chiyoda Ward to dress very casually this summer, such as wearing T-shirts, jeans and sneakers.

The bank aims to create a relaxed environment for workers as part of reforms that have been growing in Japan. The trial will be the first among the three megabanks in Japan, including MUFG Bank and Mizuho Bank. SMBC is hoping to change the image of the working environment at banks, which is often perceived as very formal.

The new regulation will apply to employees working in general affairs departments and market sections who don't have any face-to-face contact with customers and who account for a little more than 10% of all SMBC employees. Internal dress regulations will be lifted for those workers so they can come to the office in casual clothes.

The relaxed dress code will be carried out on a trial basis and the bank plans to conduct a survey on worker reaction to the move after September. If SMBC receives good feedback from its employees, it will consider extending the new summer style into business sections and branch offices across the country after the next fiscal year.

(Japanese original by Yuki Takahashi, Business News Department)

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