First Niagara Financial
2.4 of 5 42 reviews
www.fnfg.com Buffalo, NY 5000+ Employees

First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014

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2.4 42 reviews

                             

32% Approve of the CEO

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

John R. Koelmel

(22 ratings)

32% of employees recommend this company to a friend
42 Employee Reviews
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It's ok

Customer Service Representative (Former Employee)
Phila, PA

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

ProsGood team environment and culture

ConsUnorganize and the training is sub par

Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Could Be Worse, Could Be a Lot Better

No Thanks (Current Employee)
Buffalo, NY

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

ProsIt 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.

ConsThe "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 Senior ManagementThey 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Clear lack of direction and very poor senior level communication skills

Team Leader (Current Employee)
Buffalo, NY

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

ProsCo-workers
OK Salary for WNY
OK Benefits
Flexible time/shifts

ConsZero 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 Senior ManagementStart 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.

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

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Not good

Teller (Current Employee)
Pittsburgh, PA

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

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

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

Advice to Senior ManagementPractice what you preach!

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FNFG teller

Back Up Head Teller (Former Employee)
Lockport, NY

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

Prosyou receive a paycheck every 2 weeks

Cons-no opportunity for advancement even if you are more than qualified for the job openings
-everything operates on favoritism, even if you have the best numbers you are not promoted

Advice to Senior ManagementGet to know all employees and utilize the talent that you have, instead of promoting off of favoritism

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Leadership catastrophe

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

Prosgreat logo colors; decent PTO; community involvement

ConsWeak Leadership; Weak Organizational Development and HR departments; extremely political environment; little accountability; no infrastructure (although they are spending some major $$ just to catch up to competitive market) poor stability and portfolio ratings, ESOP plan decreased by>60% during 2012, stock price is pitiful.

Advice to Senior ManagementRecognize that the organization can only progress to the level of the leader--the organization has been set up to become a case study for learning by neglecting to properly assess talent and culture before executing M&A activity--listen to your employees before pulling the trigger, they are your greatest assets and have the ability to fill the gaps and blindspots of management. Also, competence levels of execs needs to be evaluated--many are in way over their heads.

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

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No Room for Advancement. Cutthroat, High Pressure Sales Environment

Assistant Branch Manager (Former Employee)
Allentown, PA

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

ProsGreat Benefits. 100% coverage. Decent vacation package.

ConsManagement plays favorites from top down.
Fired some people for "policy violations" but not others for same "violations".
Cutthroat environment.
"Diversity" value prevents the company from firing under-performing employees"

Advice to Senior ManagementGet your act together or I wouldn't be surprised to see reverse discrimination lawsuits on the horizon.

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

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The company has merged with too many Banks in a short period of time, and needs to get a handle on the processes work

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

ProsGreat people to work with

ConsUpper management should be more organized with processes

Advice to Senior ManagementBetter organization and communication to all levels of company

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

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Up and Down

Customer Service Representative (Current Employee)
Albany, NY

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

ProsGreat coworkers. At one time, our department had their own corporate culture, and it was fantastic. Advancement within your own area is extremely possible, despite what others say here.

ConsSigh... well, having lived through the HSBC conversion and coming out (mostly) intact: the micromanagement of employees, the fact that we were outright told to LIE to customers, the policies that are broken one minute and enforced the next... all very horrible.

Additionally, the bank has begun using a temp agency to fill certain positions, leading to training groups of twenty that have no idea what to do, and that can easily dispose of half themselves within a months time.

Also? The pay is not nearly enough.

Advice to Senior ManagementTry actually evaluating the quality of the people you hire instead of just mass hiring. It might help. Also, before promoting people, see how they do with employee engagement.

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

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Very good at first, but as they grew they lost that employee friendlyness.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Pittsburgh, PA

I worked at First Niagara Financial

ProsThey offer good benefits, vacation, sick time.

ConsVery little advancement in Pittsburgh area.

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 42 reviews posted anonymously by First Niagara Financial employees.