First Niagara Financial

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First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated February 10, 2015
Updated February 10, 2015
15 Reviews
3.0
15 Reviews
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First Niagara Financial President, CEO, and Director John R. Koelmel
John R. Koelmel
15 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Not too bad.

    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Clifton Park, NY
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Clifton Park, NY

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

    Pros

    can move up quickly, pto, I was lucky and had 2 great managers who are/were understanding and have guided and supported me to get several promotions.

    Cons

    a lot of pressure from management to meet sales goals, management changes frequently, not so great pay, horrible and expensive health plans, inconsistency in rules/regulations.

  2.  

    FNFG 6 out of 10

    • 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 full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pay and benefits are OK. A lot of paid time off with higher pay grades. Coworkers are generally supportive. Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    A lot of internal change; some of which isn't well communicated or thought out by senior management. Lack of unifying organizational culture. Inadequate IT support. Lack of consistent management message. Some employees are well compensated but others have no reason to give extra effort. Lack of career development. Tuition reimbursement policy below peer group.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rebrand FNFG to better compete regionally. Invest in people and process development. Stop relying on high cost consultants.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Good place to gain experience, but the bank culture leads to lots of red tape and a very slow pace.

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Great office culture, good benefits, lots of PTO, good work/life balance, great people.

    Cons

    Wages a bit below average, seniority > talent, bank culture is tight with costs and leads to slow processes to get certain things done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider raising wages to help retain talent.

    Recommends
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  5.  

    Needs Improvement

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

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial as a contractor (less than a 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
  6.  

    Stressfull

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

    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
  7.  

    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
  8.  

    it's okay.

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

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Competitive pay, HR & Tech center is very helpful.

    Cons

    Advancement within company takes a while.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Philly region

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

    I worked at First Niagara Financial full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people I worked with daily. My vacation and flexibility since my supervisor was in Buffalo.

    Cons

    They lay people off left and right.
    They don't know the market they got into when they bought Harleysville National Bank.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Know your market and stop putting fluff in your employees ears about the culture and how great it is. Not really that great if you're laying off employees all the time. If they would have done proper due diligence they wouldn't need to lay good people off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    IT: Nice People, Clueless Management

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

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

    Pros

    IT is young and vibrant at FNFG. The people are friendly and supportive. Times are tight for everyone, but if you have a good idea, they will usually find a way to fund it.

    Cons

    The other side of the "young and vibrant" coin is their inexperience. For an enterprise IT environment, it's still a pretty small organization and yet they want to be grown ups so bad, they tend to adopt unnecessary bureaucratic procedure just because that's what the big banks do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Slow down growing the org chart, and focus on the people you already have. Say "no" to the lines of business when they want more work done than you have the people or experience to accomplish.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    The company is a good company as long as you have the right management which I didn't.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Deposit Operation Generalist in Lockport, NY
    Former Employee - Deposit Operation Generalist in Lockport, NY

    I worked at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    They allow you to balance your work with your daily live, have a great benefit package, provide overtime at the time of merger which means extra money in our pockets.

    Cons

    Sometimes the work load is too little for everyone to go thru the day, however when someone quits or gets fired they take a long time to get replaces and one time from 7 in a department we went down to 3 & the work load increased excessively as you may immagine, however they did nothing to hire someone to help.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is important to treat everyone equally, even when you have differences with one or two employees, because it is greatly noticeable.

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