A Myrtle Beach-based lender has converted a loan office in Mount Pleasant to a full-blown retail branch that can take deposits and offer other financial services.

South Atlantic Bank said it made the switch this week at 1127 Queensborough Blvd., off of Anna Knapp Boulevard, after receiving approvals from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the S.C. State Board of Financial Institutions.

The branch is the bank's fifth overall and its first in the Charleston market.

"The expansion to Mount Pleasant and Charleston is a natural extension of our bank's coastal South Carolina footprint, reaching from Myrtle Beach to the south," CEO K. Wayne Wicker said in statement.

The bank dipped its toe in the Charleston market by opening the loan production office in October.

South Atlantic is a $351 million financial institution that has been in business since November 2007. Its parent company is privately held South Atlantic Bancshares Inc.

The Mount Pleasant branch is led by Ken Pickens, senior vice president and regional executive.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.