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The untraditional banker

Prison guard – riding school instructor – and now customer supporter in Danske Bank. Kristina Lorenz finally feels she has landed in the right place

As a young prison guard, Kristina learnt a lot about people. To read somebody’s state of mind and decode their needs. How to de-escalate a conflict if an inmate was angry or threatening. And to look out for small deviations in her surroundings. 

“I can’t help it, I still notice a pile of fresh dirt when I go for a walk in the woods. When I worked in the prison, I found little saws and suchlike in those small piles,” she says. 

From one unusual job to the next: A few years later, prison guard Kristina took on a job as a riding school instructor and had to deal with a very different group of people, namely children and youngsters. Again, she made good use of her empathic skills. A couple of years later, she changed jobs again: This time to be a security officer at Copenhagen airport. 

However, when she landed a job as a cashier and service advisor at Danske Bank a couple of years later, her frequent change of workplace came to a halt. 

I probably don’t fit the traditional image of a conservative banker, but to be honest, my colleagues don’t fit that description either.

From job hopping to feeling at home
“Previously, I had changed jobs every two or three years. But suddenly I found myself in a place where I was really happy! I liked what I did very much, I liked my colleagues and the tasks I had. Our managers were keen on creating a good working environment and really cared about your personal wellbeing.  I probably don’t fit the traditional image of a conservative banker, but to be honest, my colleagues don’t fit that description either. We all appreciate a good laugh and having a down-to-earth work atmosphere”, she says.  

Behind the counter at Danske Bank’s branches in central Copenhagen, Kristina met all types of customers. It was a new world, but occasionally she made good use of her prison guard experience.  

“Sometimes, people were not happy with the answer they received and might raise their voice or become angry. That’s when I used my people skills, something we also learnt a lot about in the branch.  

When working with anti-money laundering tasks, she also uses her observation skills: “You look for deviations. Something out of the ordinary that doesn’t fit the usual pattern,” she says.

Listening – really listening
In 2021, Kristina moved to the online branch in Høje Taastrup, near Copenhagen, Denmark. Now she meets customers on the phone or online. On the phone, a special kind of listening skill is required to interact with customers in the right way, and Kristina uses her well-developed empathy skills. 

“You have to be able to sense what the person needs. And it can be much more than financial advice or help with the account. Sometimes I can hear that a customer is terribly sad without really being able to put into words what is wrong. I say ‘It sounds like you are sad, try to take a deep breath, take it easy, I’ll listen to what you have to say’.” 

“My task is also to find out how much help the customer needs. And I am not afraid to say: ‘It sounds like you are not completely happy with my answer’, or to ask: ‘Was this the help you needed – did you get what you were looking for?’  

Career goal: Satisfied customers
Kristina has one humble, but very important career goal: “I really, really like having satisfied customers. So my ambition is to keep on making customers happy and at the same time to be efficient, so there aren’t nine other people on the line who are unhappy because they are being kept waiting!”

Interested in joining us? See our open positions right now

Blue Book, Kristina Lorenz

  • 1999-2003: Prison officer, the Danish Probation service
  • 2002-2005: Riding school instructor and stable worker
  • 2005-2007: Security officer, Copenhagen airport
  • 2007-2021: Service advisor and later on customer supporter, Danske Bank, Nytorv Branch  and Nørreport Branch in Copenhagen
  • 2021 onwards: Customer supporter, Danske Bank’s online branch in Høje Taastrup, Denmark