Melissa Smith, CEO of WEX, a financial technology company. Credit: Courtesy of WEX

WEX Inc., a Portland-based financial services company, has canceled its plan to move 1,000 employees to a new, $50 million operations center at The Downs in Scarborough, the company’s chief executive said Thursday.

CEO Melissa Smith cited employee preferences for a hybrid work environment as a key part of the decision in an interview following the company’s release of second quarter financial data.

The company had planned to relocate the workers from its South Portland campus to Scarborough by the spring of 2022, but put those plans on hold a couple months ago as workers hesitated to return to the office full time.

Now, the company has decided to cancel the plan, which drew controversy from local residents because WEX wanted a $2.25 million tax break. The company originally planned to let employees work from home through July 1, but now is not requiring them to return to the office this year, Smith said.

“We are making informed decisions about new office space based on what we’re hearing from our employees, which at the moment is a desire to be able to work both in the office and at home,” she said.

The $1.7 billion company, with 5,400 employees in 14 countries and 1,500 of them in Maine, is the second-largest public company based here. It reported a 32 percent revenue hike in the second quarter compared to last year, and said it expects revenue to rise to $1.8 billion by the end of this year.