The Governor of the Central Bank has said the bank has "grave concerns" about a proposed law which would prevent the sale by banks of loans to so-called vulture funds without the consent of the borrower.

Philip Lane made his comments in an address to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach.

He warned the committee that the "No Consent, No Sale" bill would severely damage resilience of the financial system.

Professor Lane said that at the same time, the bill would not improve consumer safeguards.  

"Given that the consumer protection framework from a regulatory perspective is the same whether a loan is held by a bank or a non-bank, we do not see that the bill would add any extra regulatory protection for consumers," he told the committee. 

He also cautioned that Sinn Fein's proposed bill, which has already been passed by the Dáil, would limit the ability of banks to obtain liquidity from the inter-bank market or from the eurosystem.  

Professor Lane said that while the restrictions would be costly even under normal conditions and the knock-on effect would be an increase in the interest rates charged to households, the impact would be especially de-stabilising in a crisis environment. 

The Governor, who is soon to leave the Central Bank to take up a position on the executive board of the European Central Bank, also revealed that the amount of redress and compensation paid by banks to victims of the tracker mortgage controversy has risen by €18m since the end of December. 

He said the told amount that has been paid over now stands at €665m. 

By the end of March, Mr Lane said the bank expects the number of customer accounts awaiting redress to be down to about 300.

The overall number of customers identified as being impacted by the controversy has not risen above the almost 40,000 at the end of last year, he added.

In the case of the remaining lenders, he said, the Central Bank is working to ensure that these have addressed any remaining issues affecting groups of customers and that all eligible groups of customers have been included for redress and compensation.

He added that he expects this work to conclude in the coming weeks.

Philip Lane said enforcement work in also continuing, with detailed and forensic investigations being carried out into the actions of entities and individuals.

Any form of Brexit will be damaging for Irish economy

On Brexit, Mr Lane said any form of Brexit would be damaging with a hard Brexit even more so. 

He outlined how in recent months the Central Bank has stepped up its work on mitigating the "cliff-edge" risks of a hard Brexit and said where possible the risks have been mitigated.

The work, he said, has sought to ensure that the financial system is resilient for a hard Brexit, as well as ensuring risks to consumers are mitigated. 

The Governor added that while a no-deal Brexit would constitute a severe economic and financial blow, the bank's work to improve resilience over the last decade means that the shock should not be made worse by fragility in the financial system. 

He also said it was correct to say that the impact of Brexit would vary across the country, as different sectors will be affected in different ways. 

He said everyone would have to be alert to how Brexit unfolds because if there is a no-deal then in the initial days and weeks there will be alot of disruption. 

But he added that there is a question then about how quickly that disruption will be managed by adaptation. 

Professor Lane said the country would have to be very alert to those short-term effects, but also to the fact that Brexit is a permanent disruption.

There would be challenges facing whole industries, individual firms and particular regions, and the Government has to think about all those factors, he added.