Shares in British banks were broadly down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as the Office for National Statistics reported a surprise contraction in GDP during the fourth quarter of 2010.

Economists had predicted growth of around 0.5 per cent but this morning the ONS reported a fall in GDP of 0.5 per cent, with the cold weather shouldering some of the blame.

By 09:45 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 2.10 per cent to 63.68 pence per share, RBS shares declined 1.22 per cent to 43.54 pence per share and Barclays shares fell 0.86 per cent to 297.90 pence per share.

HSBC saw its shares rise 0.30 per cent to 699.30 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.13 per cent to 5,935.97.