First Niagara Financial
2.3 of 5 41 reviews
www.fnfg.com Buffalo, NY 5000+ Employees

First Niagara Financial Reviews

Updated Dec 07, 2013

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2.3 41 reviews

                             

32% Approve of the CEO

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

John R. Koelmel

(22 ratings)

30% of employees recommend this company to a friend
12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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Needs Improvement

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Lockport, NY (US)

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

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

ConsMiddle 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 Senior ManagementWhen 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.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Stressfull

Teller (Current Employee)
Rockland, NY (US)

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

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

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

Advice to Senior ManagementStop giving unreasonable goals and get a better incentive program for the tellers

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

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Okay, but...

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at First Niagara Financial

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

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

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 okay.

Teller (Current Employee)
East Windsor, CT (US)

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

ProsCompetitive pay, HR & Tech center is very helpful.

ConsAdvancement within company takes a while.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Philly region

Customer Service (Former Employee)
Harleysville, PA (US)

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

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

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

Advice to Senior ManagementKnow 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.

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)

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

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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IT: Nice People, Clueless Management

Software Developer (Former Employee)
Buffalo, NY (US)

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

ProsIT 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.

ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementSlow 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.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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So so.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at First Niagara Financial

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

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

Advice to Senior ManagementLook 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.

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It was okay.

Teller (Former Employee)
Downingtown, PA (US)

I worked at First Niagara Financial

ProsHelps you learn about banking.

ConsCustomer service is a big part of the job.

Advice to Senior ManagementLonger hours, open later than 5pm.

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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 (US)

I worked at First Niagara Financial

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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Glassdoor is your free inside look at First Niagara Financial reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for First Niagara Financial CEO John R. Koelmel. All 12 reviews are posted anonymously by First Niagara Financial employees.