E3bank, a Malvern company that has been organizing and fund-raising for nearly two years in hopes of starting operations, is changing its business plan and will return the money it received from investors, bank chairman Sandy Wiggins and chief executive Frank Baldassarre said today.

They said the step was prompted by "the changing regulatory environment" but that the bank's mission would be the same. For example, Baldassarre said, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is increasing its scrutiny of new banks to seven years from three years.

The bank will reorganize and start a new campaign early next year as it seeks to raise $30 million and to open for business by the end of June. One change will be a focus on the Philadelphia area, with limits on deposits from outside this market.

The bank did not disclose how much money it had raised or the number of investors.

E3bank was formed with the principals of sustaining the enterprise, restoring the environment, and increasing social equity - goals from which the bank's name is derived.    -Paul Schweizer