A senior ECB official has said household and mortgage debt is a serious issue for Irish banks.

Joerg Asmussen said that IMF research on the issue will have to be carefully looked at.

Mr Asmussen, a member of the ECB's executive board, was speaking in Dublin tonight.

The research found that in countries where people are trying to reduce debt after a housing boom, the recession is driven deeper and further.

Mr Asmussen also reiterated the ECB's view that Ireland must continue to repay the Anglo Irish Bank promissory note.