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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    The company is a good company as long as you have the right management which I didn't.

    Deposit Operation Generalist (Former Employee)
    Lockport, NY

    ProsThey allow you to balance your work with your daily live, have a great benefit package, provide overtime at the time of merger which means extra money in our pockets.

    ConsSometimes the work load is too little for everyone to go thru the day, however when someone quits or gets fired they take a long time to get replaces and one time from 7 in a department we went down to 3 & the work load increased excessively as you may immagine, however they did nothing to hire someone to help.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt is important to treat everyone equally, even when you have differences with one or two employees, because it is greatly noticeable.

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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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    1 person found this helpful  

    First Niagara Bank

    Bank Teller (Former Employee)
    Philadelphia, PA

    Prosgood entry-level position to obtain basic experience

    ConsHard to take advantage of training offered due to the immediate supervisor's lack of support
    Lack of support in setting/achieving career goals
    Lack of communication/respect towards anyone lower on the career ladder
    Lack of response to employee concerns from both the immediate supervisors and the HR

    Advice to Senior Managementmake a greater effort to listen to front-line employes and address their concerns
    assist in professional development and goal-achievement, do not simply issuing directives
    be more aware of the day-to-day functioning of the offices

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    no headline

    Financial Specialist (Current Employee)
    Albany, NY

    ProsGreat community environment in the branches, sales goals are important as well as audits, but there is a community feel

    ConsThere 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 Senior Managementkeep going on the path that you are going with your personel and branches, fire people sooner when it is known there are problems.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    I like to work here but the salary leaves much to be desired.

    Loan Servicer (Current Employee)
    Lockport, NY

    ProsThe best reason for me to work at First Niagara Bank is the fact that I have 5 weeks vacation

    ConsThe management has a major problem with letting the employees know that they are appreciated.
    Except for a Chosen few.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThink of everybody when there are reviews, everyone needs more money not just a small percentage.

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    Does not promote within.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Albany, NY

    ProsThe company has acceptable benefits and holidays, bonus and yearly merit.

    ConsCompany does not seem to promote within or try to develop employees along the way so they will a chance pursue their career goals and be more satisfy with what they are doing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCompany should value its employees and use good talents. Promote continous internal development in functional as well as leadership training. This will give employees a sense of satisfaction in their jobs, a loyalty to work for the company, and a proud attitude in representing the company to promote the company's products and services to their clients. This will make make to employ work harder as this is the job they love.

    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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    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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    Good company but trying to grow too fast

    Branch Manager (Current Employee)

    ProsThe people you work with and for want you to succeed. They have assembled a team of people from a ton of great organizations and they are attempting to build a new leader in banking. They put lots of focus around organizational development, engagement, and transparency. I am a top performer and I get constant regonition for my production and leadership.

    ConsThe problems are around the fast expansion of the company. They had four purchases within four years and went from a savings thrift bank to a top 25 within that time. As a result, everything is constantly changing and no one can keep up. The communication is terrible and the incentive program does not reward. Although you get recognitinon, if money is a concern this is not the place to be. Due to all the purchases the budget is tight and they don't pay for performance. It often feels like the people at the top want to be running a large bank so badly that they don't care how their employees are affected and how much they have to deal with from the public.Lastly, there is little room for advancement since the company is still generally small and doesn't have a range of available positions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReward employees and don't make them feel like sales machines. Sometimes the goals can stay relatively stagnant from year to year. Raising a goal and then unofficially raising it by 20% more puts employees in a stressful position.

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

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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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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.