Cardinal Financial Corp., Tysons Corner, Va., has announced an agreement to acquire George Mason Mortgage LLC, Fairfax, Va., from United Bankshares Inc., Parkersburg, W. Va., for $17 million in cash.Cardinal Financial, the parent of Cardinal Bank NA, said Mason Mortgage engages mainly in originating and purchasing residential mortgages for sale into the secondary market through nine retail branches in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. It reported originations of more than $4 billion in 2003. United said it will continue in the mortgage banking business, but not on a wholesale basis. "We felt that we had achieved the best from our mortgage banking segment during an extended period of historically low interest rates," said Richard M. Adams, chairman and chief executive officer of United. "United will continue its focus on retail mortgage lending through our banking subsidiaries."

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