The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at the company's he

Credit Suisse has told its staff to leave work by 7pm on a Friday and not return until at least Saturday lunchtime, unless a big deal is in the works or there is an urgent request from a client.

Dubbed “Protecting Friday Night”, the Swiss bank’s initiative is part of a wider drive by investment banks to soften their workaholic image and improve its staff work-life balance.

Bank insiders told Reuters that the scheme was introduced on May 23 following feedback from staff, is part of a wider drive to retain talented employees from leaving for other jobs.

A spokeswoman for Credit Suisse told the Independent that there was no average hour at which an investment banker leaves the office during the week as it all depends on client activity.

The new scheme will now allow employees to make firm plans with family and friends and ensure their private time is respected.

“We have given a great deal of thought into how we can provide some time off for our bankers,”

(This allows)…employees to make firm plans with family and friends and ensures that this time will be respected.”

Credit Suisse has also launched a fast-track program for top-performing investment banking juniors, in an effort to attract and retain employees.

Credit Suisse added that is also supporting technology which allows its employees to work from home or when travelling.