Graduates who want to be investment bankers in London could be disappointed if they wear brown shoes at a job interview. A report highlights how the investment banking industry follows old, unwritten rules about how bankers should behave. The study was undertaken by Britain's Social Mobility Commission. It looked at how people in job interviews were selected. Researchers found that the industry followed "relatively opaque" codes of conduct. They wrote: "For men, the wearing of brown shoes with a business suit is generally considered unacceptable…within investment banking."
The report suggested that working class people had to change their behaviour to fit in with bankers from middle and upper classes. One new banker said: "I felt like my accent was a bit out of place, so I changed it." The study said the industry discriminated against those who did not go to elite universities. It said: "Bright, working-class kids are being systematically locked out of top jobs in investment banking because they did not attend a small handful of elite universities….It is shocking…that some…still judge candidates on whether they wear brown shoes…rather than on their skills."