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Banking: 'Vulture' swoops on EBS

US 'vulture' investor Wilbur Ross, along with London-based private equity firm Carlyle and Dublin-based Cardinal Group, will buy the EBS, and could cut the amount people owe on the loans, Mr Ross said.

He said that lenders here would have to cut the principal amount people owed on their mortgages.

The consortium will buy the bank and pour capital into it, Mr Ross added. They have pledged to put €550m into EBS in return for a 70pc stake. This would leave the Government with the remaining 30pc.

Mr Ross is a veteran US investor and an industry leader in bankruptcies in the banking sector.

He said that the Government shows "dedication to get their act together".

"They're getting their deficits under control, so eventually they'll reduce their debts," he added.

Mr Ross said he would be looking for more buying opportunities in Ireland, but "not so much" in Greece at this point.