Non-bank lender, Finance Ireland, has hired a senior executive from Ulster Bank to become its chief operating officer.

Damien Daly is currently the director of strategy at Ulster Bank, which is preparing to wind down and exit the Republic of Ireland market.

He previously worked in Bank of Ireland, where he head up its financial services partnership with AA in the UK.

Mr Daly also served as Director of Marketing and Customer Analytics at Bank of Ireland Retail in Ireland.

"Damien brings extensive experience at the highest level of banking and he will be an important member of our own senior management team," said Billy Kane.

Founded in 2002 by Billy Kane, Finance Ireland currently employs 160 people and claims to be Ireland's largest non-bank lender.

Global investment firm, PIMCO, and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund are among its investors.

It currently lends in the car finance, SME leasing, agri-finance, commercial and mortgage market which it entered two years ago.

In the year to end of December, Finance Ireland lent €655m in new loans.

Mr Kane said it now has a 6% share of the residential mortgage market in Ireland and 16% of the broker market.