The Director of Public Prosecutions will be given files relating to the criminal investigation into Anglo Irish Bank towards the end of this year, the Commercial Court has been told.
He will be given further files in the first quarter of next year.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he expected the DPP to be able to decide 'earlier than the norm' whether charges should be brought as he had lawyers involved in the investigation process and already had a lot of information.
The Commercial Court was told that the Director of Corporate Enforcement was seeking a further extension of time to complete his investigations.
As part of the investigations, the court was told that more than 800 password protected or encrypted documents have been identified to date.
The court heard that the Director had requested the bank to provide the passwords for an initial list of 50 documents, which appeared to be most relevant to the investigation.
The court was told that passwords had been made available for 22 of these documents.
The bank did not have passwords for the others as they had been encrypted by people who had now left the bank and the passwords had not been made available to the bank.
The court heard the investigation has been very time consuming.
In one aspect of the investigation, 125 witness statements were taken, the longest of which was 120 pages long.
Mr Justice Kelly said he regretted the investigation had taken so long but he said this was due to the complexity and volume of material the investigators had to go through.
He granted a further extension of time of six months.