First Niagara Financial

  www.firstniagara.com
  www.firstniagara.com
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First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated September 28, 2014
Updated September 28, 2014
48 Reviews
2.4
48 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Leadership catastrophe

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

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

    Pros

    great logo colors; decent PTO; community involvement

    Cons

    Weak 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 ManagementAdvice

    Recognize 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    No Room for Advancement. Cutthroat, High Pressure Sales Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Branch Manager  in  Allentown, PA
    Former Employee - Assistant Branch Manager in Allentown, PA

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits. 100% coverage. Decent vacation package.

    Cons

    Management 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with

    Cons

    Upper management should be more organized with processes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better organization and communication to all levels of company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Up and Down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative  in  Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Albany, NY

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

    Pros

    Great 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.

    Cons

    Sigh... 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 ManagementAdvice

    Try 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    They offer good benefits, vacation, sick time.

    Cons

    Very little advancement in Pittsburgh area.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    First Niagara Bank

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bank Teller  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Bank Teller in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    good entry-level position to obtain basic experience

    Cons

    Hard 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 ManagementAdvice

    make 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Does not promote within.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Albany, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY

    I worked at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Company 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 ManagementAdvice

    Company 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Needs Improvement

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

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Small enough not become utterly capricious and random, like Bank of America. Also small enough to still be somewhat responsive to reality on the ground.

    Cons

    Middle management ranks are becoming like all others in the banking industry; that is, simple power players and not problem solvers and protectors of assets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you import management talent from other banks, understand that you are also importing some of the worst aspects of American banking culture. STUDY the science of what makes for good managers, and you have to WORK HARDER to keep your sense of "great culture" that you are in jeopardy of losing as we speak.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Stressfull

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

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Jeans Day, lovely teller system, fun work environment, make your own branch signage

    Cons

    goals are very high and there is a lot of pressure when it comes to making them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop giving unreasonable goals and get a better incentive program for the tellers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Okay, but...

    • 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 Financial

    Pros

    Somewhat collaborative culture.
    Decent salaries for W. New York.

    Cons

    Unintentional bait and switch...company needs to learn true strategy.
    People are nice, but the level of outside/large company experience at management/senior level hinders the company growth potential.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Company needs to restructure itself in order to clearly understand your potential career path.
    Advancement maybe possible only if you are in the right role.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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