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Silicon Valley Bank coming?

California-based Silicon Valley Bank has taken two major steps towards opening its first Canadian branch.

The U.S. bank, which provides commercial banking to entrepreneurs, companies and investors in the technology and life science sectors, says it has received the green light from the Canadian Finance Department to establish a lending branch.

Once it receives authorization from the federal financial services regulator, Silicon Valley Bank plans to provide commercial banking services to private and public companies from within Canada.

The bank already serves the Canadian market via the U.S. on a cross-border basis, but last May it applied for regulatory approval to establish a branch in Canada.

To further facilitate its Canadian expansion, the company has hired Royal Bank executive Barbara Dirks.

Dirks was RBC's senior vice-president of network and advisor strategy in personal and commercial banking, and previously worked as chief operations officer of the Bank of Montreal's North American commercial banking group.



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