Executives of UJB Financial and Summit Bancorp say they believe their planned merger, which would create the state's largest independent bank, would permit faster expansion of their mortgage business.

The merger, in which the Summit name would survive, would double the bank's originations - to $800 million through August - and servicing - to $4.6 billion. The banks announced plans for the $1.2 billion merger on Monday and said they expect the deal to be completed early next year.

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