First Niagara Financial

  www.firstniagara.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated August 10, 2014
Updated August 10, 2014
46 Reviews

2.3
46 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
First Niagara Financial President, CEO, and Director John R. Koelmel
John R. Koelmel
22 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Philly region

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

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

    Pros

    The people I worked with daily. My vacation and flexibility since my supervisor was in Buffalo.

    Cons

    They lay people off left and right.
    They don't know the market they got into when they bought Harleysville National Bank.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Know your market and stop putting fluff in your employees ears about the culture and how great it is. Not really that great if you're laying off employees all the time. If they would have done proper due diligence they wouldn't need to lay good people off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Good company but trying to grow too fast

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

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

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Reward 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    IT: Nice People, Clueless Management

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

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

    Pros

    IT is young and vibrant at FNFG. The people are friendly and supportive. Times are tight for everyone, but if you have a good idea, they will usually find a way to fund it.

    Cons

    The other side of the "young and vibrant" coin is their inexperience. For an enterprise IT environment, it's still a pretty small organization and yet they want to be grown ups so bad, they tend to adopt unnecessary bureaucratic procedure just because that's what the big banks do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Slow down growing the org chart, and focus on the people you already have. Say "no" to the lines of business when they want more work done than you have the people or experience to accomplish.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Deposit Operation Generalist  in  Lockport, NY
    Former Employee - Deposit Operation Generalist in Lockport, NY

    I worked at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    They 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.

    Cons

    Sometimes 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 ManagementAdvice

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

  6.  

    It was okay.

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

    I worked at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    Helps you learn about banking.

    Cons

    Customer service is a big part of the job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Longer hours, open later than 5pm.

    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    So so.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    Good people to work with. Lunch is often provided at no cost. Recently acquired HSBC branches throughout north east. Cool logo.

    Cons

    Difficult to move up or even laterally. Some lazy people have found their way to the top. May be expanding to quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look to some of the youner employees during expansion. Some of the old guard still can't scan and e-mail a document in less than 5 minutes.

    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Great Place to Work
    Current Employee - Great Place to Work

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

    medical/dental coverage costs life insurance great 401k plan, immediate vesting for the 401k plan

    Cons

    distance between employment and home is long

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no advice

    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Loan Servicer  in  Lockport, NY
    Current Employee - Loan Servicer in Lockport, NY

    I have been working at First Niagara Financial

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think of everybody when there are reviews, everyone needs more money not just a small percentage.

  10.  

    financial advisor

    • 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

    Pros

    growing company and great management

    Cons

    pay structure in banking is going down

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fast growing bank who are attempting to build a infrastructure to support the growing business.

    • 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 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Heavy investment in IT coming in the near future. Lots of opportunity to find a project that interest you.

    Cons

    Infastructure is lacking. Company grew to fast and focused more on acquisitions then it did profitablility and internally.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Worked for First Niagara Financial? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.