First Niagara Financial

  www.firstniagara.com
  www.firstniagara.com
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First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated June 30, 2014
Updated June 30, 2014
46 Reviews
2.3
46 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
First Niagara Financial President, CEO, and Director John R. Koelmel
John R. Koelmel
22 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    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!

  2.  

    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 for 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
  3. 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 for 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
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  5. 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 for 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
  6. 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 for less than a 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

  7.  

    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 for more than a 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
  8. 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
  9.  

    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
    Current Employee - No Thanks in Buffalo, NY

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time for 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
  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
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Buffalo, NY

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time for 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.  

    Not good

    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teller  in  Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Teller in Pittsburgh, PA

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Benefits are good ....that's about it

    Cons

    Turnover is high...company is constantly changing staff!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach!

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