US card processing firm will axe 109 jobs after receiving £556,000 in public funding

TSYS is based in the City Quays 1 building at Belfast Harbour. Picture by Mal McCann.
TSYS is based in the City Quays 1 building at Belfast Harbour. Picture by Mal McCann.

A US credit card processing group set to axe more than 100 jobs in the north received £556,000 in public funding to create the roles, the Economy Minister has confirmed.

TSYS, formerly known as Cayan, is preparing to make 109 staff across its Belfast and Derry customer support operation redundant and transfer the roles to the US and Manilla.

The move followed a strategic review carried out last year after the company was acquired by Global Payments Inc.

The company, then known as Cayan, originally announced plans to create 170 jobs as part of a new customer services support team in Northern Ireland in late 2017.

It built upon the firm’s engineering hub in Belfast, which it set up in 2013. Cayan was later acquired by TSYS.

Invest NI offered the US company a £680,000 incentive for expanding its workforce back in 2016.

In a written response to the SDLP’s economy spokesperson Sinead McLaughlin, Economy Minister Diane Dodds revealed that 139 jobs were eventually created and sustained by TSYS.

She said TSYS was paid £556,000 “against vouched and approved grant claims”.

The Minister said TSYS would retain its engineering workforce in the north, which numbers around 100.

On the half a million pounds given to the US company, Ms Dodds said: “Invest NI will consider the terms, conditions and obligations under the relevant letter of offer and make an appropriate determination of any clawback due, in line with Invest NI policy.

She added: “Invest NI has robust arrangements in place to ensure that grant is recovered where this is appropriate, according to the terms, conditions and obligations of letters of offer, and to maintain value-for-money for the public purse.”

In response, Sinead McLaughlin expressed disappointment that the Economy Minister had failed to provide an assurance on recouping the money.

The Foyle MLA called for the Economy Minister to ensure her department has the rigorous controls to claw back such funding in future.