WASHINGTON -- Franklin Bancorp. said the shareholders of George Washington Banking Corp. approved the merger between the two companies.

"This merger significantly enhances Franklin's goal to become the premier locally owned independent commercial banking company for the Washington metropolitan area," said Robert P. Pincus, president and chief executive of Franklin.

"Franklin is pushing its expansion objectives forward and this agreement conforms with the bank's plans to establish a presence in Washington, northern Virginia, and, in the near future, suburban Maryland."

Franklin has $266 million of assets and George Washington has $40 million.

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