First Niagara Financial
2.3 of 5 44 reviews
www.firstniagara.com Buffalo, NY 5000+ Employees

First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014

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2.3 44 reviews

                             

32% Approve of the CEO

First Niagara Financial President, CEO, and Director John R. Koelmel

John R. Koelmel

(22 ratings)

31% of employees recommend this company to a friend
11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    the worst

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prospaid holidays, pretty decent benefits

    Consthey expect you to bend over backwards for minimum pay

    Advice to Senior Managementpay tellers more than basically minimum wage!

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

    Teller and Notary (Former Employee)
    Huntingdon Valley, PA

    ProsNo pros but i guess there are worse jobs. Good part time job if you don't need to work

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Horrible Place to work

    Teller Supervisor (Current Employee)

    ProsNot many, Benefits are pretty good for now but word of insurance being cut some next year is circulating.

    Conscompany 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 Senior Managementgive up and sell. Most employees here have given up and are looking elsewhere.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Lies, Lies, Lies

    Product Manager (Current Employee)
    Buffalo, NY

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

    ConsExecutives, 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 Senior ManagementThe 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Horrible Place to work

    Professional (Current Employee)
    Buffalo, NY

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

    ConsManagement 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 Senior ManagementLeave.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Immature

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Lockport, NY

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

    ConsOld 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 Senior ManagementFocus on your direct reports, not your career aspirations

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    Disappointing , no room for advancement

    Relationship Banker (Former Employee)

    ProsConvenient locations, very nice coworkers.

    ConsDoes not promote from within, raises are very small, sales pressure is ever increasing and the company is trying to force everyone in retail to work harder to finance their acquisitions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementValue the people that built the company. Not everyone from outside is better than whom you already have working there. Re interview your current staff, they have a lot to offer.

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    Chatham mgment is the worst

    Teller (Current Employee)
    Chatham, NY

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

    ConsManagement 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 Senior ManagementSTOP. 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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

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    Movement in Management causing Negative Changes

    Financial Consultant (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat Salary! I enjoyed working with people who had been in the business for a very long time. I was always learning something new.

    ConsConstant movements in management caused negativity with employees and unwelcome changes. The overall atmosphere of the job after some of these changes was negative. All employees in my office were VERY unhappy when I left.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay more attention to changes, peoples entire lives are affected by these changes. One person in the wrong position can cause serious loss of talent.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Pittsburgh, PA

    ProsThey 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.

    ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementPraise 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!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at First Niagara Financial reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for First Niagara Financial CEO John R. Koelmel. All 11 reviews posted anonymously by First Niagara Financial employees.