Hands down the worst bank I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. The down fall was immediate when First Niagra bought my old bank (Harleysville National)... First Niagra "automatically changed accounts to different types" started charging monthy service fees, and minimum balance fees on account that previously had none... the service at the branch level was poor too, tellers and managers just shrug and rol their eyes "that's just how it is" this bank changed my accounts started charging fees and when confronted about it... they kept the fees and threatened to turn me over to collections for the negative balance on one of my accounts (YES they charged enough in "new" fees to run my account into the negative. There Idea of customer service was to keep the money and offer to forget about the negative balance.... I would not ever consider doing business with this bank again... EVER
If I could have given a 1/2 star I would have
Months ago I was told that my bank account was to be sold to them. I wrote a letter to my bank and to niagara telling them not to do it. After filling out multiple forms that stated this I was told it was to be transfered. I called up HSBc and begged them not to transfer it and they told me it had already been sold. I call the government department that oversaw the transfer and they said they couldnt reverse it unless Niagara agreed to. I called Naigara up and they refused to.
I explained to them that I lived over 300 miles from the nearest location and they didnt care
I explained to them that i needed to renew my license and couldnt do it without a checking account and they didnt care
I explained to them that I had a child support check due and could literally go to jail if I didnt have a working checking account and they didnt care.
Hours and hours (literally hours I called at 3 pm and was on the phone to 7 pm) I begged, pleeded, threatened, said everything I could think of asking them to not do this until after I wrote out the child support check and renewed my license. They still refused. I had to use relatives to western union my ex-wife up the money, I was fined by my credit cards for not being able to send them a check, was almost evicted, I spent 200 dollars in cab fees because I couldnt access my account to get my license renewed. I had 5000 dollars in my bank account but could only use the money I had on me for a week because of them.
All in all they costed me about 400 dollars. No apology they dont care. I closed the account the moment it was opened and went to chase. Never in my entire life have i treated a customer with such rudeness.
My only plan now is to continually write letters to the Fed overseers and my congressional reps until I am refunded the money they cost me.
It's all been said already in the low scoring reviews that have already been written, but I'll add to them since First Niagara is JUST TERRIBLE! I was with my small, local bank (East Penn Bank) for around 13 years and never had a single issue. They were bought out by Harleysville National a few years ago. They instituted very few changes, so my banking experience remained the same, positive.
Then First Niagara took over..... oh man :( Nothing but problems from the start.
- All of my local wonderful longtime employees, gone.
- Transactions were messed up immediately after takeover.
- My checking account type, was changed without authorization.
- They raised all existing fees.
- They added MORE fees for things that never had fees before.
- When I moved, I had to give them my new address 3 times before it was actually in correctly.
- Today I got a letter stating that they're raising their fees AGAIN, & now charging for my account type.
- Their online banking, when compared to other large banks, is definitely not up to par.
- They're a major financial institution, yet no smartphone banking apps.
I could go on & on. First Niagara as a whole is just terrible, a large financial bank with absolutely NONE of the perks of being with a large Bank.
STAY FAR FAR AWAY of First Niagara!
I was an account holder at HSBC for many years and recently had my accounts moved to First Niagara. The process has left a lot to be desired. Almost months after the transition, they have yet to send my wife her ATM card for her personal checking account. The fee schedule is vastly different (and not well communicated) so we've started to get fees on accounts we've never been charged for in the past. We tried closing the offending accounts but have to do it in person--they will not process it over the phone or via their secure e-mail system. Their online banking web site only supports older versions of insecure web browsers--like Internet Explore 7 and 8 and Firefox 3.5 (Firefox is up to version 14 now!). And their customer service reps are rude and difficult to deal with and are more than happy to blame the customer for their foul ups. AVOID THIS BANK AT ALL COSTS... I'm moving my money out as fast as I can.
Absolutely dreadful online and telephone service with no-one knowing how or what to do. Extremely disappointed that we have had to move from HSBC to First Niagara as have banked with HSBC for the last 10 years in the UK, Hong Kong and Jersey. I'm moving all my money out from First NIagara to another bank as soon as possible - and as soon as they are able to get my online account up and running - which my recent experience tells me will be around 6 months from now. Such a shame - the staff in the Ridgefield branch who were former HSBC people are excelllent. I see someone has posted a 5 star review 'MaryJo'- clearly someone from the bank or their PR company. Nobody is 'excited about the future of their banking' - clearly corporate speak and a false positive plant from first niagara's marketing team which just infuriates me more. INstead of focusing on cynical pointless online marketing to dupe consumers, they should actually deliver a far better product and service. Style over substance is clearly their mantra.
Since they took over HSBC it has been a nightmare trying to get all accounts transferred and everything settled. cCutomer service is abhorrent. I was put on hold three days in a row and disconnected each time. After four days, I finally got a real person to talk to. The branch office was absolutely no help with my problem. I will be leaving this bank ASAP!!!
I deposited a check and they "held it" for days, even though the money was in my account they said they were holding the money before it cleared and still charged me fees. Everytime I use an ATM, i have an average of $6.00 in fees. Terrible customer service and the biggest fee rip of bank I have ever dealt with.
I am sick because of my relationship with this bank. There are so many bad reviews about this bank I wonder what are bank authorities doing letting them stay open.
My businesses had a line of credit threw First Niagara never missed a payment. Changed the name of are company for marketing reasons then First Niagara called the note due. Tried to set up another loan but they refused long story short they forced me in to bankruptcy and ruined my businesses!
Today I went to close my checking account at my local First Niagara branch (upstate NY, north of Albany). I closed it because I found Citizen's to be much easier to deal with and just more "user friendly". Besides that, Citizen's (as well as TDBank) has an iPhone app to check balances, make transfers, etc. First Niag hasnt joined the 21st century yet and seems in no hurry to do so.
So I step up to a teller's window (young, chubby brunette) and ask to close my account. She checks my balance to figure out what to give me (not much, I had let it run down for a while) and while processing my request asks me why I was closing my account. I dont give free advice. People only take you seriously when they have to pay for it. If the bank truly wants my consultative services to improve operations, they can pay for it. Anyway I told her that, so she again asked me for "personal" reasons? What the blank is that? It's none of her "personal" business) and then she asked me again at which point it became harrassment (believe me, if you worked with her and asked her out on a date more than twice and she said no each time, you would be fired for harrassment) so I asked her to please stop asking me and to finish the transaction. I told her that her suddenly hostile attitude (she just couldn't take NO for an answer) was exactly the reason I was leaving First Niagara. But that was only the icing on the cake.
She then told me (remember, I'm the customer - she seemed to forget that) that I couldnt talk to her like that and that she would no longer take care of me and that neither would any of the other tellers. Keep in mind I'm old enough to be her father. She was just another mindless twit trying so hard to act like a grownup but failing miserably. I reminded her that she was the one who was harrassing me but that didn't penetrate her dulled senses (it's so hard to find good help these days) so she continued to tell me to "go sit down" (Go sit down? And wait for what? What are we, in high school?), and again, that she wouldnt help me because she didnt help people who spoke like I did.
So I left the window and was planning to leave the bank to go to another branch when the branch manager, Jim Sin..tt came out, asked me what had happened and then proceeded to complete the paperwork. He was very pleasant, got me my money, and I left.
Just a word to the wise. And I am feeling better now...
As a 'courtesy' they extended overdraft protection for my account (after I had declined it). For the pleasure of that 'courtesy', they also extended a $70 fee to me. Guess they need the $70 more than I do - hopefully they enjoy their $70 worth of lousy reviews that I am now writing along with my closed account. AVOID
DO NOT use First Niagara Bank- if you have money in that bank- move it somewhere else immediately. We have lived in 3 states now and have never experienced such horrible customer service or ineptitude from a financial institution. They don't have account records for those who had HSBC accounts, you can't close out an account without going in in person, they lost our credit and debit cards, our new address was never transferred so things are being sent all over the US... the list goes on- over 6 hours wasted talking to people and being put on hold over a 3 day period.
Please, please, please heed mine and others warnings. This place is terrible.
sadly, this monopoly has taken over hsbc and selling some of those leftover branches to keybank. I am a former customer of first niagara and can attest that their bank tellers have no social skills whatsoever and act as if you are bothering them. I also tried registering my companies insurance with them on the 4th floor downtown Syracuse (First Niagara Risk Management). That was a complete waste of my time and a real eye opener. These people have no idea what they are doing. I saw the so called "manager" outside smoking with 2 other of the employees. There was a larger woman in charge of marketing for my account who was unbearably loud and complete low class. I also spoke to a woman who had so much perfume and makeup on I almost choked. The agency has been downsized dramatically and probably will not be open much longer. These are not the type of people you want representing you or your company. Do yourself a favor and take your business elsewhere.
My account with HSBC (who I was very happy with) was bought out by First Niagara and it has been non-stop problems and fees ever since. I'd advise anyone not to do business with First Niagara, and if you are a member, consider switching... believe me the grass is greener.
Be aware of how First Niagara Bank sweeps your transactions- They post service charges early, and if you do online transfers between accounts they may not show up for 24 or 48 hours later - They also paid out on a lost debit card of mine that was cancelled 6 months before the transaction occured- so much for fraud protection! You have to watch your accounts like a hawk. There are better banks out there- skip over this one or move out as quickly as you can.
I had a business checking with HSBC that was sold to First Niagara. They screwed up the change over, charged me fees on what was supposed to be a free checking account and then terminated the acount with out giving me any notice. I will not be banking with them again.
I was recently just switched over from HSBC to First Niagara, and it has been an awful transaction. Every interaction I've had with customer service has been completely unhelpful. While trying to set up my online account for the second time, I was transferred at least 3 times until I finally figured it out myself and had to tell the customer service rep how to fix the problem. The second time I had called them I was connected to someone who had no idea what he was talking about as well. I was assured a check had cleared, but instead I got charged for NSF. Avoid this bank if you can.
I was a customer of HSBC for more than 10 years. Never had a problem. I've been a customer of First Niagara for less than a month, and I'm switching banks. Every time I call their customer service, no one helps. "I'll transfer you to someone that can help you". Every single time? I still haven't received business credit card, business checks, business deposit slips or a letter from First Niagara stating that my bank has changed with the new routing number. I asked and asked but I get the same line: "It will be there next week, in 7-10 business days". Thanks. Plus when I go to the old HSBC branch and use my old HSBC checks or deposit slips (which they told me that I could do, over the phone!), they tell me that I can't do that. Then I have to argue with them that customer service told me that I could, then it becomes a half hour visit to deposit my business checks.
This bank cannot deal with the large number of customers that HSBC had. They don't have the infrastructure. It's a small-time bank that's know realizing that they're in disarray. I would strongly encourage you NOT to continue with First Niagara or start a First Niagara account.
Where all the other banks are trying to offer some breaks to remain competitive this one is just buying up all the other banks through the fees they are charging their newly acqquried customers, needless to say since being with my old bank for 15 years, I am now switching banks.
Started small business loan process with them several months ago. Was led to believe that they were going to approve the loan at all stages of the process. Just found out two days ago that they aren't what a joke. They Will make you jump through hoops and tell them everything and every minute detail about your life and then turn around and deny your loan request don't waste your time. Choose a local bank if you can. Terrible communication and customer service, zero stars.