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Nine months after establishing its Beaverton office, Silicon Valley Bank has not emerged as the white knight bank freely loaning out millions as some had hoped. Its local loan volume remains limited and its customer list, even in its specialty of high-technology, is a short one.
But that's exactly how the Santa Clara, Calif.-based bank prefers to operate. Far from the freewheeling institution some had expected, Silicon Valley has emerged as a careful, conservative lender and a hard bargainer. All loans must go through a corporate loan committee to be approved, and the bank has asked for stock warrants from some borrowers to protect itself.
In all, the local office has extended total loan commitments of more than $20 million to 24 clients, said Art Hiemstra, Silicon Valley Bank's regional vice president.
But for all its caution, the bank has nabbed some important local customers, the best-known being Sequent Computer Systems Inc. And its momentum appears to be …