Patelco Credit Union said Wednesday that it has moved its headquarters -- and 180 jobs -- to Pleasanton, exiting San Francisco in a relocation that brings the company closer to a big chunk of its members.

The company set up shop at 5050 Hopyard Road at the end of February. Patelco rented 56,000 square feet in the office building.

"Of our 41 branches and 270,000 members, approximately 40 percent of our California members reside in the East Bay area," said Carol Highton, Patelco's chief operating officer. "It's important that we commit our resources, volunteer activities, and even employment opportunities to the communities where our members live."

Officials with the 540-employee company also think it will be able to more readily recruit employees because of its new head office location in the East Bay.

Patelco will be a major corporate player in Pleasanton. At at the end of December, the credit union had $3.57 billion in total assets and $3.18 billion in total deposits, an official filing with credit union regulators shows.

The 75-year-old company also has staged a significant turnaround in its bottom line. For 2010, Patelco earned $24.6 million. In 2009, the credit union lost $14.6 million, according to a regulatory filing.

"We were thrilled when we heard Patelco was planning to move here," said Pamela Ott, Pleasanton's economic development director. "It's great that their employees are finally here in our community."

The city has attracted a number of large and small companies lately.

Clorox intends to move hundreds of workers to Pleasanton from Oakland, although it will keep its headquarters at its current location. Callidus Software moved from San Jose, and Xradia relocated from Concord.

"Pleasanton has always been a great place for businesses to choose to locate," Ott said. "We are proximate to (interstate highways) 580 and 680, we offer the right kind of space and we are centrally located in the Bay Area."

The credit union also hopes to use the offices in Pleasanton to help it deploy a state-of-the-art technology system to enhance online access by its members.

"Our new facilities provide significant opportunity for us to take a major leap forward in the technology that drives so much of our business," Highton said. "Numerous back-end technological upgrades are being added."

The credit union completed the move to the Pleasanton headquarters Feb. 22, company officials said. Employees seem to be liking the move.

"We haven't been here long enough yet to take a full survey, but so far almost all of the feedback has been positive," Highton said. "Employees are really enjoying the new, open space where it's easy to communicate and work together."

Patelco officials had heard that some other companies that had previously shifted operations to Pleasanton from San Francisco had lost as many as 20 percent of their employees in the move, mainly due to the shifting commute.

"We don't think that is going to happen with Patelco," Highton said. "So far, two weeks into the move, we have only lost one employee as a result of it."

Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477.