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
44 Employee Reviews
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    WPA wants out!

    No Thanks (Former Employee)
    Pittsburgh, PA

    ProsThe culture that is created in most branches are special and unique...for the most part and it's a job in a bad economy.

    ConsThis place is falling apart at the seams. Terrible leadership and no direction. Employees are over worked as jobs have been over the past two years. Branch staff can not take a lunch b/c of staff shortages. Advancements are often given to good old boys club rather than individuals that actually work hard and deserve it. No supplies no water no marketing whatsoever no technology no customers no presence. Oh yeah...we are going double and triple your goals. Wonder why they would do that???? Nothing makes sense at First Niagara.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRespect your employees for what they do everyday in the extremely poor environment in which you have created. Most are disengaged, fed up, and over it.

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

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    It's ok

    Customer Service Representative (Former Employee)
    Phila, PA

    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

    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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    • Culture & Values
           
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    Clear lack of direction and very poor senior level communication skills

    Team Leader (Current Employee)
    Buffalo, NY

    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

    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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    2 people found this helpful  

    FNFG teller

    Back Up Head Teller (Former Employee)
    Lockport, NY

    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

    (Former Employee)

    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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    • Culture & Values
           
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    • Comp & Benefits
           
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    No Room for Advancement. Cutthroat, High Pressure Sales Environment

    Assistant Branch Manager (Former Employee)
    Allentown, PA

    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)

    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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    • Culture & Values
           
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    • Senior Management
           
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Up and Down

    Customer Service Representative (Current Employee)
    Albany, NY

    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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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 44 reviews posted anonymously by First Niagara Financial employees.