First Niagara Employee Reviews in United States

Showing all 36 reviews
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First Niagara
Financial Analyst (Current Employee) –  Lockport, NYDecember 8, 2015
Great place to work! Great culture and advancement opportunities. Voted # 1 in the northeast by Money Magazine. Still baffled as to why it is being sold to Key Bank.

I hope the people and the culture are as great when we merge with Key Bank.
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First Niagara
CCR (Former Employee) –  PittsburghJuly 14, 2016
· Analyze consumer and business financials, and help them build financial plans/financial budgets, while implementing First Niagara products (Savings, Checking, Credit, Loans, Investments, Money Markets), that will help them achieve their short and long term financial goals.
· Extensive understanding of banking laws, compliance and guidelines.
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Run!!!
Relationship Banker (Current Employee) –  CTMarch 26, 2015
This job has been a nightmare from the day I got there. Most branches are running on skeleton crews which means you have to wear multiple hats and not get paid for them, some days I don't even take a lunch break in order to finish my work on time. We have high sales goals that even if you meet them or exceed them they are still hounding you for more. Your job and your title are consistently being threatened, I have never felt safe in my position; any day can be your last. Management is MIA, "looking for business", while the employees are left to run a branch with 2 people. Every year there is a huge layoff and demotion of the survivors, they also usually threaten to decrease your salary. This job has made me suffer mentally, physically. I don't sleep some days I don't eat I have terrible anxiety and depression. For the sake of your family and friends, RUN.
Pros
I can't think of one
Cons
no job security, threatening upper management
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I woudln't apply here if I were you
Teller (Former Employee) –  Syracuse West Region, NYOctober 20, 2014
I worked as a part time teller and from the moment I arrived I new I had a made a mistake with taking this job. Some co workers were not very welcoming and act as if it was a burden to help the new person. Management gave false information during interview making it seem as if it would really be a part time job when in all actuality it is just like working full time with no benefits. Sales plays a big factor in the Teller position which makes no sense because it does not benefit you. Management very unprofessional act as if they are better then everyone also act as if tellers are their secretary or assistant and only engaged in conversation when they needed something like reaching sales goals. Overall in my opinion not a good company if your looking for a permanent career. They're always downsizing (layoffs) and tell you not to worry but the only ones that are safe are those who been with the company for years.
Pros
customers
Cons
everything else
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productive and fun workplace
Credit Card Customer Service Agent (Current Employee) –  Lockport, NYApril 28, 2016
great company to work for, and the benefits are amazing. I enjoy helping people and learning new skills and being able to advance in a workplace.
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Great place to work for the right individual.
Customer Care Representative (Current Employee) –  Latham, NYMarch 31, 2015
I didn't mind my time at FN. If you enjoy working with people, there's plenty of room for advancement. There can be a steep learning curve for those who are unfamiliar with the banking industry, but if your branch has good management, that can be mitigated.
Pros
Bank hours are great, Great relationships with co-workers and customers. Very customer-service oriented.
Cons
Benefit package is expensive and sub-par, Learning curve for banking
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good company to work for
teller (Former Employee) –  Attica, NYSeptember 24, 2015
the company was good to work for. they had great benefits and I worked with some great people. they put a lot of pressure on the teller line at the branches, the goals for small branches were crazy sometimes but not an overall bad place to work.
Pros
meeting the customers
Cons
not being customer oriented
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Fnfg
Senior Teller/ Assistant Teller Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Amsterdam, NYDecember 16, 2014
This is a mid-sized company reshaping its future goals from investment/capital to consumer driven profits. It was not the proper place for me as I was located in an area away from the Operations center and Risk Management locations. When the request was for relocation and better job placement, I met many obstacles. If you are not from Niagara/Buffalo area, you might as well not apply for anything more than a CCR.
Cons
expensive benefits, poor compensation, poor job placement, managed by former hsbc folk and there's a reason they aren't a mainland bank anymore.
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they use temp agencies and hire once a month
csr-call center (Former Employee) –  lockport, nySeptember 23, 2015
basically every month they hire and train 20 to cover vacations for their real staff, then they keep like 2-then the cycle repeats
Pros
decent pay
Cons
you will get fired
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Intern
Intern (Former Employee) –  Albany, NYDecember 14, 2015
Great place to work and have as an internship throughout the course of a semester. The people who worked there were always willing to help out in any way that they could.
Pros
Free Lunch
Cons
Part Time
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Solution Architect
Lead. IIB Developer/SOA Integration (Current Employee) –  Pittsburgh, PAAugust 22, 2015
Supportive management. Friendly environment. Learned lot Solution Architect skills.
Extensive worked in implementing Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) services by using SOAP nodes.
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Highly accommodating workplace.
Teller (Current Employee) –  WNYNovember 21, 2015
Great employees, great supervisors, all very welcoming staff members, willing to help or answer any and all questions. Individual development was stressed more than meeting numbers.
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I loved it
Full Time Teller (Former Employee) –  East Longmeadow, MANovember 6, 2015
I absolutely loved working for first Niagara. The only reason I left is when I was pregnant I got put on bed rest and I decided to be a stay at home mom after. I would love to work for them again!
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Watch your back
Teller (Former Employee) –  Pittsburgh, PANovember 18, 2014
i met some amazing people who will be lifelong friends.
Management is a nightmare. The only way to get ahead is to lie, cheat and steal. If you do things the right way you'll never get anywhere. It also helps to wear provocative clothing.
Pros
benefits were good
Cons
management is terrible
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Sos
CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE / TELLER (Former Employee) –  Exton, PAMarch 2, 2015
this company is slowly going down the tubes I left before the 40,000 got cut very unrealistic goals and numbers to meet there is no job advancement if your a CCR they make you a teller just so they can say you don't hit your numbers and fire you i have seen this happen a lot and the managers don't do anything but yell at you and make you do there work
Cons
you will get fired
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Ship is going down
Vice President, Branch Manager (Former Employee) –  Eastern NYFebruary 18, 2015
I was in the bank for only a few months. I was brought in and took a branch which had not produced for a year and a half start producing. Always getting compliments on the work I did then out of nowhere I was laid off. New DM was looking out for people who worked for him in the past and made sure hew was surrounded by them again.
Pros
Time off, No stress until I was laid off
Cons
Upper Management. from CEO to the District Managers
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Comment – March 18, 2015

I agree, upper management has no idea what is going on of how to keep moral up.

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Great company, great family!
Teller (Former Employee) –  Buffalo, NYMay 28, 2013
I loved working for First Niagara. I woke up every day looking forward to going to work. My typical day at work was pretty relaxed with a fun environment, yet maintained professionality. Managment for the most part, from my experience kept an open door policy, and actually stuck to it. I always felt comfortable talking with my superiors. I loved all of my co-workers for thier individuality. The hardest part of the job in my opinion would be branch consistancy. I did not like how some branches did things one way and other were different. It proved to create some issues, and even tension at times. But the best part of the job was always learning new things, and being pushed for excellence, and promotion.
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Competing Cultures Give Different Experiences in Different Areas
Analyst (Current Employee) –  BuffaloFebruary 20, 2014
The idea of a true and happy corporate culture is nice. First Niagara promotes their wonderful corporate culture to anyone who will listen.

First Niagara hired an outside company to manufacture a corporate culture structure that could be used by the bank at that time. It worked. Kind of.

What actually happened is that the bank made too many large acquisitions too fast. They brought in employees from all levels and different work environments, and then throw them a book and an online course about how to act in the "First Niagara Way."

People didn't buy in. Instead they acted like peopled, and did what they know, and acted and implemented policies and hiring patterns based on their comfort level and outside experiences. If a person walked into a branch in Connecticut, Eastern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and a former HSBC branch in Syracuse, they would get five different experiences, and attitudes, based on how thin the company decided each branch should be able to handle. They fired a lot of bank employees

The same can be said for policymakers and back-end projects. Executives, managers, project managers and project participants had different backgrounds and different ideas about what a project should achieve. People often came out of meetings with completely different understandings of what just occurred and the next steps. Projects were always delayed, people would draw lines in the sand and factions would develop within projects, departments, and just within the bank in general.

The same can be said for back-end day to day employees. Major culture clashes happened
  more... over the way to do things, what the expectations were for that person, and what company priorities were. True productivity died.

What is funny is that the company they hired to "create" the culture, then wrote a book about corporate culture, and used First Niagara as a positive example. Coincidence?

And one last thing about culture. "Work/Life Balance" doesn't exist at First Niagara. Instead, First Niagara uses the term "Work/Life Integration," which they will tell you is to help employees understand that work and life are never truly separated. Ironically, they're exactly right, and see no fault or problem with that.

Advancement doesn't exist. Don't expect to advance. Managers don't train for advancement nor do they develop a career path. They hire people from outside the bank, usually a person they worked with at their old bank to fill empty positions. Every once in a while someone will move into a department, but it is usually because the hiring manager is a close personal friend. The other option is that they just let the job go away and consider it general attrition.

Co-workers are good people. The company pushes their employees very hard and the low levels feel it the most. As I said, they cut bank staffs to a point where most branches can barely function, much less function effectively. They did the same to the back of the house, and just expect to keep pushing people as hard as possible. That is what they mean by Work/Life Integration instead of Work/Life balance. They simply expect less people to work harder when most people are doing more than one person should. Back to the point - most co-workers are nice, good people, should you ever get to pick your head up and talk to them.

The hardest part of the job is the moment you realize you have to have allies, enemies, and frienemies in order to make it. Then the hardest part is figuring out who those people are.

The most enjoyable part of the job is going home to get away from work for a littl...oh wait, "work life integration."

They pay pretty well though, especially if you're hired by someone you knew/know.

A few months ago they re-organized desks and painted the walls different colors to make us feel happier. Though the desks are smaller and there is very little privacy anymore.
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Pros
tthey give you some autonomy until something bad happens that appears to be your fault, then your boss can blame you because you said everything was going well, so autonomy is good just never make a mistake, there are also now coffee machines so people can have free coffee.
Cons
never: make a mistake, ask your boss about career advancement, question a decision, don't: bother posting out, talk about your personal life to anyone you don't completely trust, the computer programs are slow and outdated, the rumor mill is terrible and you should stay away at all costs
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Not for everyone!
Relationship banker (Current Employee) –  BuffaloMay 22, 2014
Corporate culture is truly a joke, what they say and do are not the same thing. Pay is alright, but depends on the position. The industry is changing, so expect to be asked to shake every penny from every customer you talk to. If your working at a slow branch, be prepared to spend most of the day as a telemarketer, and having people ask you to stop calling them. If your looking at a sales position, beware there are many issues behind the scenes that could make you look bad to your clients.
Pros
paid time off, insurance, moderate pay
Cons
lack of leadership, direction. poor products
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Going in the wrong direction
- (Former Employee) –  WNYOctober 1, 2014
The senior leadership of the bank has lost the culture that used to be there. Constant cut backs, people laid off at least twice per year for the past 3 years, and customer facing employees are worked to the bone to squeeze revenue from everywhere they possibly can. Very unfortunate scenario playing out for this organization as they try appease stock holders instead of valuing their customers and employees.
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Overall rating

3.1
Based on 36 reviews
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.2
Compensation/Benefits
3.3
Job Security/Advancement
2.5
Management
2.5
Culture
2.6