Former Barclays global CIO for retail and commercial banking operations, Jim Ditmore, has been made Group COO at Danske Bank with responsibility for group IT and services.

Starting his new role on April 21, Ditmore will also be a member of the executive board.

Thomas Borgen, chief executive of the Danish bank which has 415,000 UK customers and a particularly strong presence in Northern Ireland, said that the appointment was part of their strategy to come up with the "most innovative and customer-friendly digital solutions" for business and personal customers.

Ditmore, who has been CTO at Chicago-based Allstate Insurance since February 2012, worked as CIO for Barclays for more than three years and was instrumental in championing off-premise services to the rest of the C-suite when the British bank moved much of its IT infrastructure into a private cloud with IBM in 2011.

Danske Bank CEO Borgen said: "Jim Ditmore has long experience with IT development and operations in large financial services companies.

"He will play an important role in our efforts to achieve our ambition of becoming the preferred financial partner for our customers, and I am looking forward to welcoming him to Danske Bank.

"In the years to come, we must strengthen Danske Bank's position as the bank with the most innovative and customer-friendly digital solutions for both personal and business customers. We must also be more flexible and efficient to ensure that we can quickly adapt to the changing market and can meet customers' expectations of fast and flexible services."