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.
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.
i recently transferred from hsbc to first niagara bank. when i called the 800 number i talked with heather. she was so patient and helpful. she knew every answer to my questions and the one she didn't know - she found the answer and called me back WITHIN THE SAME DAY. you dont get that kind of personal treatment in other call centers. she was wonderful and polite and completely put my mind at ease of the changes that were coming. very excited for the future relationship i have with this bank
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.
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 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!
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.
there were definitely some errors in the change over but all in all, my issues have been resolved, i have access to my money, and so far the customer service has been really friendly.
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.