Synchrony Financial Services closes Puerto Rico operations
CT-based Synchrony Financial Services Puerto Rico closed its operations last month, affecting 200 employees, News is my Business confirmed.
Synchrony Financial Services is the company that was spun-off from GE Capital in November 2015. The bilingual call center was incorporated in the Puerto Rico State Department under the new name in November 2017 and began operations in January 2018.
From there, front line employees fielded customer service calls for more than 20 different types of private-label credit cards. Some of those employees came over from JCPenney’s credit card service division, which GE Capital managed for more than 20 years prior to the spin-off.
“In March 2022, Synchrony informed all employees in Puerto Rico that we would close our Puerto Rico operations in June. These changes enabled us to leverage our mainland U.S.-based operations in a more efficient way,” a company source told News is my Business.
“Synchrony supported our colleagues in Puerto Rico by providing them with transition benefits including personalized career coaching, resume development, interview training, tuition reimbursement and reskilling benefits,” the source said.
“Synchrony also held a Career Fair with local employers on the island and provided networking opportunities with prospective local employers. It is our understanding that the majority of former colleagues were successful in finding new roles — including a handful who chose to retire. Synchrony also relocated and redeployed dozens of employees to the mainland who wished to continue working at Synchrony,” the company spokesperson said.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the company shifted its employees from its offices in the San Patricio area of Guaynabo to working remotely.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told News is my Business that infrastructure issues like frequent power outages and internet interruptions prompted workers to call in to say they would not be able to do their jobs, which may have influenced the decision to close the operation.
Former company employees also left a mixed bag of reviews for the call center on Indeed.com that were either praising their ex-employer or full-on criticisms about work pressures and office politics.
In April 2022, Synchrony was included in the “2022 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For” list, taking the 25th spot. That recognition came a year after the company raised its minimum hourly wage to $20, including Puerto Rico employees at the time.