Mr Hamilton led the trade and investment agency for over 10 years, leaving the post last year. Throughout his tenure he played a key role in developing and implementing economic strategies during and after the financial crisis, helping home-grown companies to expand and successfully attracting major foreign direct investment into Northern Ireland.

Prior to joining Invest NI, Mr Hamilton held a number of senior management positions at BT, including Director of BT Health, Director of BT Business and Managing Director of BT Business Ireland. During this time, Alastair also served for a year on secondment as Chief Economic Advisor to the First Minister of Northern Ireland.

Gerald Gregory, Chair of Northern Bank Ltd, said: “I am delighted to announce Alastair’s appointment as a non-executive director. He has been a prominent and respected figure in the Northern Ireland business community for many years, and also brings with him a strong working knowledge of local government and the public sector.”

Alastair Hamilton said: “I have always held Danske Bank in high regard and I am looking forward to working alongside my new Board colleagues, and the local senior management team, as we continue to support customers and navigate these challenging economic times. Danske Bank has a strong position in the marketplace and will play a key role in getting Northern Ireland moving again over the months ahead and beyond.”

Since the middle of March Danske Bank has approved around £200 million of lending to business customers across Northern Ireland, with around £80 million of that support provided through CBILS and around £50 million through the Government’s new Bounce Back Loan Scheme.