ALLIED Irish Bank boss David Duffy is leaving to take up a job at Clydesdale Bank in Britain.
It is understood he will join the National Australia Bank-owned Scottish institution but will remain at AIB as chief executive and executive director until a successor is appointed.
"The bank [AIB] is well positioned to contribute to Irish economic recovery and to serve customer needs," Mr Duffy said this morning in announcing the move.
"Having returned to profit- ability, received approval of the Banks Restructuring Plan and passed the recent ECB/EBA Comprehensive Assessment, I believe now is the right time for a new CEO to lead the bank through the next phase of its recovery and growth and a multi-year process of returning capital to the State."
He said his time at the bank has been "immensely rewarding both professionally and personally".
Mr Duffy joined the state-owned bank in 2011, succeeding David Hodgkinson.
He previously worked at ING, Goldman Sachs and Standard Life.
During his watch, AIB returned to profit last year - its first since the crash.
The bank reported profit before tax of €437m compared with a loss of more than €800m in the same period in 2013.
Branches were shut during his tenure and staff numbers were cut by almost 20pc.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the outlook for the bank "is very positive" and praised Mr Duffy for his work there.
"Given the significant progress made by AIB under Mr Duffy's executive leadership, I extend my thanks to him for his professionalism and vigour in the role and wish him continued success," he said.