A Grand Strand lender is looking to upgrade its existing Mount Pleasant loan office.

Myrtle Beach-based South Atlantic Bank is seeking permission to operate a full-service retail branch at 1127 Queensborough Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.

The company said it has filed applications with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the S.C. State Board of Financial Institutions.

"We are looking forward to becoming full-service and anticipate operations to begin within 90 days, pending the approval process," South Atlantic CEO K. Wayne Wicker said in a statement.

The proposed location is off Anna Knapp Boulevard between Highway 17 and Mathis Ferry Road. The site now houses South Atlantic's loan production office that Wicker said "has been very well-received in the market" since opening in October.

The full-service branch would be the bank's fifth - the others are between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach - and its first in the Charleston market, where Ken Pickens is regional executive.

The immediate area is crawling with competitors. Bank of America, SCBT, TD Bank, Wells Fargo and SCBT have offices within a short distance of the Queensborough location, and Spartanburg's Southern First Bank is building a brand new branch in that part of town.

South Atlantic is a $351 million financial institution that opened its doors in November 2007. Its parent company is privately held South Atlantic Bancshares Inc.