First Niagara Financial

  www.firstniagara.com
  www.firstniagara.com

First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated 28 September, 2014
Updated 28 September, 2014
48 Reviews
2.4
48 Reviews
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First Niagara Financial President, CEO, and Director John R. Koelmel
John R. Koelmel
22 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Needs Improvement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lockport, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lockport, NY (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Small enough not become utterly capricious and random, like Bank of America. Also small enough to still be somewhat responsive to reality on the ground.

    Cons

    Middle management ranks are becoming like all others in the banking industry; that is, simple power players and not problem solvers and protectors of assets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you import management talent from other banks, understand that you are also importing some of the worst aspects of American banking culture. STUDY the science of what makes for good managers, and you have to WORK HARDER to keep your sense of "great culture" that you are in jeopardy of losing as we speak.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    WPA wants out!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - No Thanks in Pittsburgh, PA (US)
    Former Employee - No Thanks in Pittsburgh, PA (US)

    I worked at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The culture that is created in most branches are special and unique...for the most part and it's a job in a bad economy.

    Cons

    This place is falling apart at the seams. Terrible leadership and no direction. Employees are over worked as jobs have been over the past two years. Branch staff can not take a lunch b/c of staff shortages. Advancements are often given to good old boys club rather than individuals that actually work hard and deserve it. No supplies no water no marketing whatsoever no technology no customers no presence. Oh yeah...we are going double and triple your goals. Wonder why they would do that Nothing makes sense at First Niagara.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect your employees for what they do everyday in the extremely poor environment in which you have created. Most are disengaged, fed up, and over it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    First Niagara has a local feel for a large company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Buffalo, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Intern in Buffalo, NY (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    FNFG was very flexible and the culture was great. I learned a lot from upper management.

    Cons

    Working in a cube, you aren't able to interact as much with fellow coworkers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    It's ok

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Phila, PA (US)
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Phila, PA (US)

    I worked at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good team environment and culture

    Cons

    Unorganize and the training is sub par

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Could Be Worse, Could Be a Lot Better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - No Thanks in Buffalo, NY (US)
    Current Employee - No Thanks in Buffalo, NY (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It seems that most individuals have good intentions, provide good customer service and care about the company. There appears to be a strong business plan and an emphasis from Senior Management on carrying that plan through. The company is ambitious and all the acquisitions seem to have worked out.

    Cons

    The "happy" culture they promote is fake. They overwork and undervalue employees. The environment is cutthroat. All the acquisitions brought in too many different groups of people and nobody has direction except for where they used to work.
    Many mid-level managers are power hungry and have no problem throwing an employee under the bus in order to save themselves. Employees who give even the slightest push back receive retaliation and are outcast and made to feel bad.
    What we use in the branches works for the most part but it takes too long to get customers what they need. Even small transactions take too long and there are a lot of headaches. Equipment breaks a lot compared to where else I been.
    No appreedciation and unrealistic expectations and they keep quietly cutting jobs and we are expected to pick up the work of people who leave or are let go without bringing in more people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They don't care. They live in a different environment than we do and don't see, or care to see, what's really going on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Stressfull

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teller in Rockland, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Teller in Rockland, NY (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Jeans Day, lovely teller system, fun work environment, make your own branch signage

    Cons

    goals are very high and there is a lot of pressure when it comes to making them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop giving unreasonable goals and get a better incentive program for the tellers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Financial Sales Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at First Niagara Financial full-time

    Pros

    Great company when it started out, very involved in helping you obtain licensing and learning the business

    Cons

    Can be disorganized as they continue to grow and buy other banks, current employee's can feel forgotten about as other employees coming on board from the bank's First Niagara bought seem to take top priority

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't forget about the employee's who helped make you who you are today

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Horrible Place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teller Supervisor
    Current Employee - Teller Supervisor

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not many, Benefits are pretty good for now but word of insurance being cut some next year is circulating.

    Cons

    company does not care about employees at all. Raises are measly if you are lucky to get one. Most locations are short staffed at all times so you end up not being able to take break while customers yell at you for making them wait.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    give up and sell. Most employees here have given up and are looking elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Clear lack of direction and very poor senior level communication skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Buffalo, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Buffalo, NY (US)

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Co-workers
    OK Salary for WNY
    OK Benefits
    Flexible time/shifts

    Cons

    Zero advancement in IT unless you come from outside the company.
    Lack of focus/too many projects in flight.
    Heavy effort to out source all services they can.
    Sr. IT Leadership are all talk/no action.
    More project mangers then they know what to do with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start at the top and work down quick. The relationship between IT and business units is horrible and only getting worse. Pick a handful of projects and work on those to completion. Listen to the people in the trenches instead of high priced/low yield consultants.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Okay, but...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    Somewhat collaborative culture.
    Decent salaries for W. New York.

    Cons

    Unintentional bait and switch...company needs to learn true strategy.
    People are nice, but the level of outside/large company experience at management/senior level hinders the company growth potential.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Company needs to restructure itself in order to clearly understand your potential career path.
    Advancement maybe possible only if you are in the right role.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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