Shares in British banks were broadly up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after plans to broker a peace deal in Libya were mooted by the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

Battles and violence have continued in Libya, where what began as anti-government protests seem to have turned into the early stages of a civil war.

Libya's leader, Colonel Gaddafi, has said that he will fight "to the last man and woman" against those trying to remove him.

President Chavez, who is known to be close to Colonel Gaddafi proposed a commission from Europe, Latin America and the Middle East to try to negotiate a peace deal.

The news offered a glimmer of hope that oil rich Libya, might return to some semblance of normality and so bring oil prices back down.

By 10:50 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were up 0.54 per cent to 63.07 pence per share, RBS shares climbed 0.54 per cent to 44.48 pence per share and Barclays shares rose 0.06 per cent to 314.60 pence per share.

However HSBC shares declined 0.23 per cent to 656.00 pence per share.