Zurich’s red-light district is dimming.
Bankers who have been core patrons of the city’s sex industry and cabarets are curbing spending.
Bloomberg News reports the venues of Langstrasse -- or long street -- are closing, replaced by hipster bars, techno clubs and even a backpackers’ hostel. Like the finance industry, the sex trade has opted for a lower profile.
'Times have changed,' said Kevin Joliat, the manager of the Petit Prince nightclub in central Zurich. 'Bankers really have to show who the client was, why they spent the money and was it really necessary,' said Joliat, who once worked at Zuercher Kantonalbank, Switzerland’s largest state-owned bank.
The decline of erotic entertainment highlights a changing culture in Zurich as banking jobs ebb and public opinion turns against inflated bonuses. That and smaller budgets for entertaining customers have deprived the clubs and bars of a key customer base.
Bank rules on expenses have become stricter, said Balz Stueckelberger, head of the Employers Association of Banks in Switzerland, which is based in Basel.
'People use a more targeted approach now, with more processes and rules,' he said. 'Nightclubs don’t feature in those.'
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