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Buffett: US banks much healthier than European rivals

Banks in the US are in a much healthier state than their European counterparts at the moment, a world-renowned investor has insisted.

Warren Buffett, head of investment group Berkshire Hathaway, believes the American financial system remains significantly more resistant to the ongoing global financial difficulties it faces than its equivalent across the Atlantic.

During the annual meeting of his organisation - which has around $20 billion invested in financiers - Mr Buffett insisted that US lenders have "liquidity coming out of their ears" in comparison to European groups.

"I would put European banks and American banks in two very different categories ... the American banking system is in fine shape. The European system was gasping for air a few months back," he noted.

The 81-year-old professional - who, according to the Forbes Rich List 2012, is worth $44 billion - went on to criticise the European Central Bank's decision to offer ailing banks cheap three-year loans to help them out of trouble.

By Tony Aynsley