First Niagara Financial

  www.firstniagara.com
  www.firstniagara.com

First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated August 8, 2014
Updated August 8, 2014
51 Reviews
2.4
51 Reviews
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First Niagara Financial President, CEO, and Director John R. Koelmel
John R. Koelmel
23 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Senior management in Buffalo wants to transform first Niagara to the former Wachovia

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lendinf in Harrisburg, PA
    Former Employee - Lendinf in Harrisburg, PA

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

    Pros

    Company is spending plenty of income on the technology road ways. Benefits are very good.

    Cons

    The culture is horrible. The sales pressure is very high with no recognition. Senior management will bring in there own people at any expense.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management hired new regional management that forgets how to reward top performers and not their l friends.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    the worst

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial part-time

    Pros

    paid holidays, pretty decent benefits

    Cons

    they expect you to bend over backwards for minimum pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    pay tellers more than basically minimum wage!

  3.  

    Why can't I give this company zero stars? horrible pay and treatment of employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teller and Notary in Huntingdon Valley, PA
    Former Employee - Teller and Notary in Huntingdon Valley, PA

    I worked at First Niagara Financial part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    No pros but i guess there are worse jobs. Good part time job if you don't need to work

    Cons

    At FNFG they expect their employees to bend over backwards for the company as far as scheduling is concerned; however trying to call out due to an illness or providing less than two weeks notice for any time off is met with retaliation. I missed three days of work over the summer due to a medical procedure and two sick days. Due to this "pattern" of missing work (disregarding 11 months of working whatever hours asked and never calling out) I was informed that I was no longer in consideration for promotion from part time to full time. The pay at first niagara for a teller is not enough to support a single individual, especially if you need benefits. The pay for a teller is around 400 per week (assuming you are given 40 hours) the benefits cost 135 a week. Leaving about 900 a month before taxes for housing, food, and transportation. I was hired as a 35 hour per week part time employee and was reduced to 25 hours per week later with no notice. Luckily I was able to find another job and leave. First Niagara constantly changes their account requirements and fees while hiding notices to customers in small print on statements, leaving their tellers to explain the policy changes and new charges. the amount of responsibility and salesmanship that is expected at fnfg they grossly undervalue their employees. I would not recommend this company for a relationship for anyone as an employee or as a customer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees a livable wage and stop lying to prospective employees about how many hours they will be scheduled each week.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    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
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lies, Lies, Lies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Buffalo, NY
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Buffalo, NY

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

    Pros

    Parties are fun, Senior Management pumps you up with motivational fluffery.

    Cons

    Executives, Leadership Council, and Managers can not be trusted. They promote the CULTURE as outstanding. They need to stop talking to themselves. If anyone tries to provide constructive advice or make real change - they are silenced. Look at the long list of outstanding leaders who have been let go for no reason and with no notice.

    John Koelmel, the CEO is out for himself and that permeates the organization. Mr. Koelmel has FNFG pay for company events that are personal parties for him. He is a bully that is not capable of listening. As soon as someone as a different idea than his, that person is escorted from the company. I have seen it time and time again.

    The lack of integrity permeates the management ranks. They make promises they do not live up to. They are dishonest people. The Management Committee members on down will tell you how great they work together and the great culture. Then behind closed doors they put themselves first - time and time again. Do not be fooled!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Board of Directors needs to wake up and replace all the lying, dishonest, promise-makers who take care of themselves at the expense of customers and employees.

    Management and all employees - keep your resumes updated as you are all replaceable and your "teammates" are plotting your exit that could occur at any time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Horrible Place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Pay is fairly decent though there are some slugs who are way over paid.

    Cons

    Management by fear. CEO is a bully, and other senior people are intimidated by him. He's a dictator. A lot of scared and angry people running the joint. Joyless place to come into every day. Like a morgue. CEO too emotional, not steady. Makes decisions to grow so he can lap up the attention. HSBC acquisition was a mistake. Growing too much - chaos ensues. Because of fear culture, and the chaos from growing too fast, everyone plays the blame game. Most of top execs are not qualified to run a bank this size. Ditto for the board of directors. Amateur hour.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Immature

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lockport, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lockport, NY

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Top compensation for the area
    Great package overall
    Potential flex hours and emoting
    Excellent culture, at least on paper
    Decent building

    Cons

    Old technology
    Old mentality
    Poor coordination among different groups/business units
    Overall extremely immature in process, IT, etc
    Blind choice of technologies by the business
    Held together by bubble gum
    Nowhere to grab lunch

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on your direct reports, not your career aspirations

  9.  

    Chatham mgment is the worst

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

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The training is great,learned much about the banking industry,met some great friends

    Cons

    Management at local branch was opposite of the rest of company. Seemed to believe her job was to cater to every possible cause but to deal with the bank. (republican events,etc). Personal life of management (mess)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    STOP. Look at what you have before you start on your next conquest. You are always going to be only as strong as your weakest link or manager

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    If you like tele-marketing and high pressure sales, this is a place for you.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    They do have decent benefits at a good price! 401K Match, Health Insurance, 2 weeks paid vacation, 1 week sporadic time, floating Holidays, all federal holidays closed.

    Cons

    The company has really bad products to sell, which make the job hard! They have you cold calling non-stop as well as putting people into products that really they really don't need. The pressure for numbers is high.... QUANTITY OVER QUALITY!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Praise your employees! There is little to no recognition for good work.... and even if you do have a good day on Monday, they are on your case again about numbers on Tuesday. It's all about NUMBERS NUMBERS NUMBERS!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    no headline

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Specialist in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Financial Specialist in Albany, NY

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    Great community environment in the branches, sales goals are important as well as audits, but there is a community feel

    Cons

    There are people who work there that do not fit the mold of the company and the company does not get rid of them

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep going on the path that you are going with your personel and branches, fire people sooner when it is known there are problems.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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