First Niagara Bank

www.firstniagara.com
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First Niagara Bank Reviews

Updated February 28, 2015
Updated February 28, 2015
43 Reviews
2.5
43 Reviews
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Gary Crosby
19 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Nice local bank with opportunity for growth.

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

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

    Pros

    If you work hard and show that you care and are trying, you will do well and quickly move up in this bank. I think the bank does well with staffing and recognizing talent. Benefits are pretty good and a you get a good amount of time off! I think communication is pretty good in this bank. A lot of good management.

    Cons

    Just recently, the branch goals have become quite high and difficult to reach and a lot more pressure is being put on everyone. It seems that each year, there are major cut backs to budgets and also a significant amount of people are being let go and the rest are shuffled around. This is pressuring as well, that uneasy feeling of not knowing how long you will be employed for or what other changes are in store for you or the bank.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think a lot of concentration needs to be made on the look of the branches (a lot of them are quite outdated) and staying up to date with technology. I wish that some kind of gatherings or events could be organized to get to know and become familiar with others in locations nearby.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Not a bad place to work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    The benefits are fairly standard. Coworkers are friendly. There is some room for growth.

    Cons

    You're experience of First Niagara will vary greatly depending on your department.

    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    If You're Not Willing to Play A Game

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

    I worked at First Niagara Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I enjoyed working with the individual people in other areas of the corporation, very personable. The bank cares very deeply about it's local community and does many things to help.

    Cons

    Management is interesting - if you're not playing the game of the day and working as three, you're not in the "A Club". No real career opportunities. Would not be at all surprised if they are setting the bank up to be sold...it is typically the end result of the behavior.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Audit

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

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

    Pros

    The work atmosphere is very pleasant, and they practice an open door policy there.

    Cons

    The pay is low and they don't have very good health, dental, or vision benefits.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Ok overall

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

    I worked at First Niagara Bank

    Pros

    Good culture that was positive always

    Cons

    Slow advancement, not the best marketing out there

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep Improving so that company can continue to grow shares

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Impersonal Bank. Cross your "T"'s and dot your "I"'s.

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

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

    Pros

    Once I got past the fact that no one wanted to train me at my express branch (smaller branch, run by branch manager who spent most of his time at the larger branch), and was moved over to the main branch; I really started to enjoy my job. I thought it wasn't a bad place to work, the team I was working with seemed to help each other out instead of throwing each other under the bus and didn't send dramatic emails to higher up's that I know of. First impressions, er-um- second impressions, can be misleading...The benefits were decent, the vacation time was good for a new employee, the pay was enough to live on (and take care of a child, if you have one). It seemed to be a place with mostly good staff of people working together as professionals... But the story continues...

    Cons

    Something you will get asked a lot by customers is, "Why do the faces around here change so much?" Because First Niagara doesn't care about their employees. They are based out of NY and they fire employees frequently with NY HR staff over the phone, that doesn't see that the employee has a good work ethic/is good with the customers/ brings other things to the table that balance out the staff...small banks keep their people- they give their employees warnings and write-ups before carelessly tossing aside their people... not sure about big banks. Medium sized banks are just finding ways to cut back on expenses (First Niagara).

     I've seen files made on an employee who was otherwise a good employee- but not strong in sales, but knew most of the operational stuff and was not lazy. (yet, there are employees at other branches that make no attempt to sell anything, and are not very professional, and are still there. I'm sure it's just a matter of time though...This employee was pin-pointed, and when she was fired, several other branches chose an employee to fire (it was like an unsaid requirement).

     And the bank decided to begin their restructuring not shortly after which included vague emails sent to employees from the president about bringing the employee closer to the customer (in other words, let's get rid of some of these middle positions, so we can save money-great way to scare all the managers away!!!).

    Most branches in my area are understaffed 2-3 people; most of the managers fled for the sake of hoping to keep an income, or perhaps leaving the pressure of having to run two branches and maintain sales goals. An employee can get fired at any moment for making a mistake. I've heard of a guy getting fired because the manager would not work with him leaving early for two weeks to pick up his child from daycare. I've seen someone fired because they didn't send an email. I've seen people on final warning, because they made teller mistakes that they otherwise would have not made if A) either management was in place, or B) Management knew what they were doing....But who takes the blame when the manager doesn't know what they're talking about or the proper order to handle things? The unsuspecting teller who asked how she should handle the situation.

    This idea of creating less management and supervisor positions combined with HR having the role of relieving employees of their positions is a bad mixture. There is no one to stand up for the employee who is not worthy of being fired. You want to know why some people still have their jobs (A: they know how to bend over and listen to their manager, even when their manager is wrong. They will volunteer to watch other employees and take down their lateness record- to the point of sick enjoyment, and they decide to add a few minutes to each lateness to make their fellow employee look worse...If you are late here and there by 5 minutes, watch your step. You create your schedule in the ADP system, there is no clocking in and out, unless you have a "cool" manager; your lateness will be documented and exaggerated. Do yourself a favor in a work environment of perfectionists and sales people faking it to make it (write down everything!, write down when you get to work, when you leave, how long your breaks are, document everything, document stuff on everyone else, not to throw them under the bus, but to protect yourself. If you make a mistake, document EVERYTHING, and EVERYONE involved.

    I have worked at multiple branches. Some have a lot of nice, professional people who like dealing with other people and make each other look good instead of throwing each other under the bus.

    Then there are employees scattered here and there that will document your mistakes (even though they have their own mistake-skeletons in the closet); that will push you out into the spotlight of the all-seeing eye of HR, the audit department, and upper management, instead standing up for you. If you want to brave working here, be cautious. Consider if your position could be a middle position that might be eliminated. Go into the branch you're interested in a few times, and observe the manager (maybe talk to him or her and gauge their personality); observe how the other employees work together- but still don't trust them, protect yourself! Planning on being behind the teller line? That is the easiest place to get fired. Do they have a teller supervisor or branch manager who will be able to train you? If no, stay away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Probably not a good career move right now since the company is restructuring. If you like being risky, go for it! By the way, you might be asked to over-hire and then will be forced to choose someone to fire. Are you a sick sociopath? May be the job for you!...Oh and please take responsibility for your actions, don't let a teller go on her final warning because you made a bad decision. Oh, also be advised, you are just watching/maintaining branches, if you want to keep an employee, good luck, better know someone in HR, your personal opinion means little to nothing; just shut your mouth and let NY run the show...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Credit Analyst / Underwriter

    • 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 Bank

    Pros

    Pay and benefits are OK. Work / life balance is good. Extended paid time off for higher pay grades. Coworkers generally nice.

    Cons

    Lack of unified culture. Management turmoil. Lack of training and career development. Nobody is willing to stick their neck out to drive change. Poor quality IT infrastructure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on people and process. Rebrand the company. Stop hiring consultants.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    The company had unrealistic expectations of their employees.

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

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

    Pros

    The position I held taught me how work well with customers from various walks of life.

    Cons

    There were several instances where I wanted a promotion in the company and I was not encouraged to move up. The individuals who were making the decision didn't want to take the time to teach new skills. When I was finally promoted, I was set up to fail. The company as a whole didn't really care about the employees but more about the numbers, i.e. accounts opened, dollars being deposited, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management is to take the time to care about the people who are working for you. See where their potential is. Encourage them to be better in areas they excel. Try rewarding positive actions instead of reprimanding for lesser than desired outcomes. Consider the possibility that its not necessarily the one person that is failing but that maybe there isn't enough support to be successful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    First Niagara - climbing the maturity curve

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

    I worked at First Niagara Bank

    Pros

    A team of good people with all of the right skills and a sense of possibility.

    Cons

    FN is primping the company for acquisition after some bad M&A deals and this has created a negative and undcertain work environment - too bad as this company has great potential.

    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Messed Up

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

    I worked at First Niagara Bank

    Pros

    Was only with the bank for a few months. Everything was good up until the new DM coming in and lied to my face,

    Cons

    The new DM, not knowing a good business development officer, the direction of the bank since they bought HSBC Branches. The bank thinks that they can run branches with no BDO

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the bank!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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