The Governor of the Central Bank has told the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform that things are still not moving as quickly on the issue of mortgage arrears as the bank would like.

Patrick Honohan said: "The indications are that the process is working, momentum is building, but there is some way to go."

In his address to the committee, Mr Honohan said the ultimate scale of the mortgage arrears problem has been hard to predict.

"We did not expect the banks to be so persistently ineffective in getting their arms around this problem and delivering sustainable solutions," he added.

Mr Honohan also said there has been "a degree of wishful thinking" on the behalf of the banks on the issue of mortgage arrears.

There was "a belief that many cases will cure themselves even without energetic action by the lenders", he added.

The committee heard that Mr Honohan disagrees with banks who leave uncertainty over residual debt after their homes are sold or the parked portion of the loan in the case of a split mortgage.

He also said it was notable but "not surprising" that banks have used legal proceedings to meet Central Bank targets on mortgage arrears solutions.

Mr Honohan told the committee that split mortgages can be a sustainable solution, depending on the borrower's circumstances.

The split mortgage can allow the lender to take explicit account of future improvements in the borrower's circumstances, while providing the borrower sufficient assurance of affordability now and in the future, Mr Honohan explained.

But it provides only one of several possible approaches, he said.

Repossessions were not the Central Bank's preferred solution, he added.

The Central Bank governor also said three out of four mortgages in arrears have not yet agreed a solution with their bank.

Answering questions from TDs, Mr Honohan said that the Central Bank will have results of audits on mortgage agreements for arrears in November and will the publish the details by the end of the year.

He said that strategic defaulting is "a phoney concept", adding that it is actually people prioritising other debts over their mortgage.

He said there are a huge variety of circumstances as to why borrowers are not paying their mortgages, adding that it is a complex issue.

He also called for more funding for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service at today's hearing.

On the Anglo Irish Bank tapes, Mr Honohan said he "owed it to the public not to pretend we have sufficient new evidence of criminality".

His comments come after the Central Bank yesterday said it would not file additional reports to the authorities following a review of phone calls recordings from Anglo, which were published by the Irish Independent.

Mr Honohan also took issue with some media reports regarding the Central Bank's statement. He said that before 2009, certain matters were looked at in relation to Anglo and a decision was taken then to transfer all of the files to gardaí.