Continuing its expansion to new technology centers nationwide, Silicon Valley Bank has converted its San Diego loan production office into a full-service branch.

Bank officials have considered opening a branch in the Southern California city for four or five years, since Silicon Valley Bank first began working with companies in the region.

"Business activity among our clients and prospective clients in the region has been especially strong to the point where having an office capable of providing a full range of banking services is of high value," said Rita Pirki, group manager of the bank's Southern California Division.

The $1.7 billion-asset company has also recently opened offices to serve technology centers in Austin, Tex.; Boulder, Colo.; and Bellevue, Wash. And it opened an office last year in St. Helena, Calif., for lending to wine grape growers in the Napa Valley.

Silicon Valley Bank also has offices in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach, Calif., as well as in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

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