LAKE FOREST, Ill. —, Inc., announced that American Financial Services (AFS) has joined the boatsbank ( online marine finance program. AFS brings more than 20 years in lending and warranty experience to boatsbank and raises the number of lenders currently involved in the program. With the addition of AFS, boatsbank expects to increase loan approval rates and to expand product offerings to include credit insurance products, extended warranty, gap insurance and other insurance products.

"Boatsbank was launched a little over a year ago with a vision to meet the boat buyer's needs by providing all the finance and insurance components through a simple and competitive online resource," said Paul Rabe, president, chief operating officer and co-founder, "With more the $325 million in loan applications processed in our first year, boatsbank proved that the boating consumer was doing business online — our relationship with AFS will increase a consumer's and dealer's opportunity for approval and bring new products to the mix."

American Financial Services is a finance and insurance administration company that currently works with lenders and underwriters to provide boatsbank and boatswarranty with additional capacity and expanded offerings. With a specialty in the small boat marketplace, American Financial Services is a solid fit for the customer base.

" was looking for a way to expand a proven and successful program and AFS was looking to partner with the number one online marine resource," said Lindel M. Swiney, president, American Financial Services "It is a perfect match that will benefit everyone involved — most importantly boating consumers looking for their first boat. Boatsbank is unique in that it seamlessly ties the consumer, dealer and lender together in a simple and effective process." collaborated with KeyBank USA, dealers and industry leaders to create boatsbank. "We're very pleased that AFS is onboard with boatsbank," said Kenneth R. Landon, CEO of Key Recreation Lending and Executive Vice President of KeyCorp. "These partnerships are what boatsbank is all about — offering dealers and consumers a simple, user-friendly Web channel access to multiple lenders."

American Financial Services was integrated into the boatsbank program in early March and is already processing loans through the partnership. Overall loan applications for boatsbank are averaging 36 million dollars per month for the first three months of 2002 with that total increasing on a daily basis.