Garmentrade Corp and First International Bank, a subsidiary of First International Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ: FNCE), have formed an alliance to offer online financing to apparel industry supply chains via, a global Internet-based e-commerce trading platform launched in October 2000.

First International has agreed to make commercial and international credit products available online - up to US $5m per transaction - to textile mills that supply fabric and trim, apparel manufacturers, and designers.

First International will integrate these online financing options with the Garmentrade platform using ThruCredit, the bank's technological solution for financing industrial transactions via the Internet. Traders will be able to choose among 14 credit products comprising First International's e-CreditMenu to settle transactions and to meet their other business borrowing needs. Products in the e-CreditMenu range from basic payment guarantees, working capital lines, equipment loans and industrial mortgages, to sophisticated international trade, barter and energy financing programs.

Florent Saint-Clair, CEO and founder of Garmentrade Corp, is pleased to partner with First International in support of his company's most driving ambition: accelerating time to market. "First International's proven track record in textile industry financing positions the company as a great resource for traders on Garmentrade," said Saint-Clair.

First International will underwrite loans and other facilities appearing in the e-CreditMenu in accordance with Riscope, the bank's proprietary commercial credit scoring system. Riscope applies to most types of industrial companies worldwide and facilitates an efficient and rapid credit approval process.

Brett N. Silvers, the bank's chairman and CEO, said: "The Garmentrade suite of application services was custom-built for apparel manufacturers and distributors. The small and medium size companies on Garmentrade are clearly motivated to be competitive in this dynamic sector and will greatly appreciate First International's online financing products, which are tailored to promote supply chain collaboration and efficiency."

First International Bank has won acclaim for its commercial and international trade financing abilities. The US Department of Commerce recently honoured the company with the President's "E" Award for Export Service, for promoting US exports and economic interests abroad. For four years, the company has been the world's number one underwriter of loans supported by the US Export-Import Bank based on number of transactions - closing more than 100 loans each year.

About Garmentrade Corp
Garmentrade ( provides textile and apparel trading partners with Internet-based collaboration and sourcing tools. Garmentrade has the support and backing of top international venture financing organizations with an understanding and total commitment to the apparel and textile industry.

About First International Bank and First International Bancorp Inc
First International Bank ( - a world leader in the use of SBA, USDA and Export-Import Bank loans - provides innovative credit, trade and financial solutions for small and medium size industrial businesses. The company has more than 200 employees and representatives at 29 locations worldwide, including offices coast-to-coast in the U.S. and international representatives located in the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Europe. In 1999, the company originated $551 million in loans primarily within its industrial niche, and closed the year with a managed loan portfolio of $1.1 billion. Established in 1955, the bank is a subsidiary of publicly traded First International Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ: FNCE), with headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.