AIB has announced the appointment of John Whelan as an Export Sector Specialist to the bank.

Mr Whelan is a former CEO of the Irish Exporters Association.

AIB said the appointment reflected its intent to support the financial requirements of a fast growing and important sector of the Irish economy, particularly in the arena of small and medium businesses.

On his appointment, John Whelan said a strong export performance was vital to the health of the economy and this has been particularly evident in recent years when exports have been the greatest driver of economic growth.