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Union Bank to open Strawberry branch

San Francisco-based bank set to open local branch in October as part of expansion in Marin County and North Bay.

Three months after San Francisco-based Union Bank moved into Mill Valley with its acquisition of Tamalpais Bank, the bank said it has plans for a second local branch, set to open in Strawberry Village in October.

"For us, Mill Valley is a very good area and its fits very well with Union Bank," said Renuka Patel, a senior vice president and regional manager for the North Bay for Union Bank. "Mill Valley also meets our desire to grow our retail customer base. Our priority has always been in the Marin market area. We'll have a nice footprint there now with our existing Tamalpais branch."

On April 16, Union acquired Tamalpais Bank, the San Rafael-based community bank that went into a downward spiral in 2009 and was eventually closed by the California Department of Financial Institutions. Three days later, Union reopened Tamalpais' seven Marin branches, including its 453 Mill Ave. location. Union also has North Bay branches in Kentfield, San Rafael and Petaluma.

Patel said Union is a good fit for Mill Valley.

"Relationship banking is one of our core strengths and one of the things we do," Patel said. "We feel that at the core of our company is a community bank."

As evidence of Union's commitment to Marin, Patel cited the bank's decision to maintain the Heart of Marin Awards, which were established in 1992 to honor locals who made a positive impact in the community. Union will be the presenting sponsor of the 2010 Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership's Heart of Marin awards in January 2011.

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