Shares in British banks were broadly down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after an Irish bank suspended trading ahead of the results of a "stress test".

Irish Life & Permanent requested a temporary suspension of its shares until 1 April, when the result of the stress test is due to be released.

The news appeared to do little to encourage investors in British banks, which mostly saw their shares fall.

By 09:55 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.63 per cent to 59.83 pence per share, RBS shares dropped 0.88 per cent to 41.51 pence per share and Barclays shares fell 0.42 per cent to 284.75 pence per share.

However HSBC saw its shares rise 0.41 per cent to 654.10 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was up 0.43 per cent to 5,957.44.