Shares in British banks were broadly down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as concerns about global debt appeared to weigh investor confidence.

Finance ministers from the eurozone recently confirmed that a second Greek bailout deal is unlikely to be confirmed by next week. The news came even as Greeks rioted on the streets and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou attempted to form a government.

Meanwhile the U.S.A. also appeared to worry investors as it edges ever closer to its "debt ceiling".

A little closer to home the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said at his annual Mansion House speech that retail banking would be "ring-fenced" from investment banking.

In addition the Chancellor confirmed that he hoped to sell nationalised bank Northern Rock to a single buyer before the end of the year, a move aimed at signalling a return to normality in the British banking sector following the financial crisis of 2008.

Potential buyers for Northern Rock include Virgin Money, Tesco and JC Flowers.

By 10:00 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.27 per cent to 47.56 pence per share, RBS shares dropped 0.20 per cent to 40.67 pence per share and Barclays shares declined 1.18 per cent to 254.35 pence per share.

However HSBC saw its shares rise 0.39 per cent to 611.00 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.78 per cent to 5,697.96.