Shares in British banks were broadly up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading following significant falls earlier in the week.

Banking shares have been severely dented this week thanks to a dreadful mix of chaos in the Middle East and North Africa pushing up oil prices, the ongoing disaster in Japan where a potential nuclear incident is looming over an already devastated landscape and the prospect of yet another EU bailout, this time for Portugal, which had its credit rating downgraded yesterday.

While investors have had to face this atmosphere of doom and gloom for the better part of a week, sending shares down, it now seems that investors are taking advantage of some of the lower prices on offer.

By 09:50 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were up 0.52 per cent to 59.76 pence per share, RBS shares increased 0.12 per cent to 40.75 pence per share and Barclays shares rose 0.44 per cent to 283.25 pence per share.

However HSBC shares fell 0.02 per cent to 622.40 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was up 0.79 per cent to 5,642.53.