AIB has said it is easing the terms on 2,000 mortgages a month.

According to an interview by Bloomberg News with the bank's chief executive - David Duffy - the bank is tackling arrears mostly by splitting mortgages.

It is also taking off a portion of a loan that has repayments put on hold until a borrower's circumstances improve.

AIB is the country's second biggest bank by assets, and has received €21 billion in State support.

David Duffy said the bank stepped up mortgage restructuring from an original target of 1,500 a month, and is also beginning to write off irrecoverable debts.

He also predicted, though, that AIB and others in Irish banking will turn more to repossessions, saying that every case is not solvable. The emphasis will first be on buy-to-let properties.

Mr Duffy said AIB does not see a need to raise extra capital and has started talks with potential equity investors, and will "engage materially" with them next year.

He has sped up resolution of distressed mortgages as regulators and the Government criticise the banks for being too slow to clean up their balance sheets.