Investment banks have often proven forward thinking when it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE) during this pandemic. Despite only employing 38,000 people, Goldman Sachs turned out to have a stockpile of 600,000 masks available for donation to good causes. Deutsche Bank too turned out to be rich in N95 masks and donated 375,000 of them to the city of Frankfurt in late March 2020.
Like clearing out a wardrobe, passing-on your old masks allows for the purchase of newer ones more attuned to the prevailing fashion. As it becomes increasingly clear that mask wearing might be with us for a long, long time, Deutsche Bank has reportedly procured itself 90,000 new ones. This time, they have been embellished with the bank’s logo.
Finextra reports that all DB staff will receive the new masks with logos, which are both reusable and ‘designed for maximum comfort.’ Some of them are being made by Mey, a German lingerie company (which is selling non-DB branded masks saying things like ‘Ooh la la!’ here). Others are being made by Weitblick a German workwear company, which is also selling its own very functional masks directly at €3.99 for a pack of 10 here.
This could be the start of something. As far as we’re aware, Deutsche is the first bank to provide employees with bank-branded masks, but it’s unlikely to be the last. Most bankers at Deutsche and elsewhere are still working from home, but over time bank masks could yet replace company backpacks and Patagonia vests as the new status symbols in London and on Wall Street. Alternatively, employees may simply list them on eBay, although it's not yet clear whether the DB masks would have any resale value.
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