New Jersey's Commerce Bancorp has set up an international trade department to offer operational support, advisory services, and financing to companies in the Philadelphia region that have international business.

The Cherry Hill, N.J.-based banking company named James Carlin head of the department. Mr. Carlin, a veteran of more than 30 years in international banking, was formerly the regional vice president in charge of trade finance in Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey for United Jersey Bank.

He had also been senior vice president and manager of international correspondent banking and trade finance at First Fidelity Bank before it was bought by First Union Corp.

Commerce has also hired Angela E. Ratchford, formerly vice president for global trade services at CoreStates Financial Corp., to be vice president of trade finance, and Charles Daley to be head of foreign exchange.

Mr. Daley also previously worked at CoreStates, where he had been a senior vice president and managing director of global foreign exchange trading since 1995. CoreStates was also bought by First Union.

Robert McEntee has also joined Commerce as a vice president in foreign exchange after 18 years as a foreign exchange trader at CoreStates, First Fidelity, and PNC Bank Corp.

Commerce has assets of $4.5 billion and 77 branch offices in New Jersey, Delaware, and eastern Pennsylvania.

Unlike many smaller banks in the region, it processes import and export letters of credit locally and guarantees they will be issued within 24 hours of receiving a firm's approved application.

It is also developing an Internet letter of credit capability that would let customers request commercial letters of credit from their own offices.

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