Failings in the banking sector which contributed to the tracker mortgage controversy did not stop once the Central Bank began investigating the issue, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and Taoiseach, the Central Bank's Director General for Financial Conduct said cultural failings within the banking sector were a significant contributory factor in the tracker mortgage scandal.

Derville Rowland said that during the examination banks were given the "clear instruction" requiring them to "stop the harm" being caused to customers as soon as possible.

She said that onsite inspections found evidence that certain banks failed to comply with stop the harm principles, which were designed to ensure that where banks identified affected customers, no further detriment was caused.

Ms Rowland said this will be considered in ongoing enforcement investigations into the tracker mortgage issue.

She also told the committee that a total of €693m in redress has been paid to customers affected by the controversy. 98% of the 40,500 customers identified by lenders have been paid, she added. 

Ms Rowland also said that 99 people lost their homes due to the issue, while 216 lost investment properties.

When questioned by Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty, Ms Rowland said the 40,500 figure represents an increase of 400 customers since the final report was published during the summer. 

She said that this was due to two factors - a "data lag" which meant some figures were not available to the Central Bank when the report was published, and also from complaints made during the investigation process.

Ms Rowland said there were 11,000 complaints made overall, and this figure is now down to 126. 

Asked by Mr Doherty whether the Central Bank have learned any lessons from the scandal, Ms Rowland said they have strengthened their approach to supervision of lenders. 

She said the Central Bank's supervisory work is now complete, but they continue to monitor the outcome of any complaints, appeals and court cases.

She added that if any further information "of a systemic nature" comes to light the Central Bank will investigate it.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank's Director of Enforcement and Anti-Money Laundering told the committee that they are looking at the actions of senior individuals with a view to imposing sanctions. 

Responding to a question from Fianna Fáil's finance spokesperson Michael McGrath, Seána Cunningham said that in order to impose sanctions on individuals for issues relating to the tracker scandal they would need to demonstrate that an individual participated in an established breach. 

Asked by Mr Doherty if the Central Bank were "hopeful" of sanctioning individuals, Ms Cunningham said they will go where the "evidence leads us". 

Ms Cunningham also said - without identifying the lender involved - that the Central Bank had to threaten legal action to ensure co-operation with their investigations.