A District of Columbia community bank has formed a division to court businesses that support the federal government.

Century Bancshares opened its new government contract lending division last week. The $160 million-asset bank, which operates five branches in the Washington area, intends to lend money against the value of federal contracts.

Century will face a lot of competition, however. It is the fifth local bank to create or add to a government lending division in recent months.

Still, there is plenty of business out there. Last year the government awarded almost $22 billion of contracts to vendors in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., according to the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis.

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