The trial of four former banking executives at Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life and Permanent will probably end sooner than expected, a judge has said. 

Anglo's former head of finance, Willie McAteer (65) and the former CEO of Irish Life and Permanent (ILP), Denis Casey (56), and two others are accused of conspiring to mislead investors by using interbank loans to manipulate Anglo Irish Bank's balance sheets. 

The interbank loans allegedly involved money being transferred by Anglo to ILP and then being put back on deposit with Anglo via ILP's life assurance division. 

The transfer would allegedly appear as a corporate deposits and not an interbank loan so the bank's corporate funding figure would appear bigger for the bank's year-end figures on 30 September, 2008.

ILP's former director of finance, Peter Fitzpatrick, 63, of Convent Lane, Portmarnock, Dublin; John Bowe, 52, from Glasnevin, Dublin, who had been Anglo's head of capital markets; Mr McAteer of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary; and Mr Casey from Raheny, Dublin have all pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring together and with others to mislead investors through financial transactions between 1 March and 30 September, 2008.

On day 35 of the trial, Judge Martin Nolan said certain rulings in legal arguments have "probably shortened the trial".

The trial is scheduled to run for five months.

He made his comments before sending the jury away for the day because of another legal issue that had arisen.

Judge Nolan also told them that the trial would not run until tomorrow afternoon because of the funeral of Supreme Court judge Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman. 

He said that some of the lawyers involved in this trial were very close friends of the late judge, who died suddenly this week.