Shares in British banks were broadly down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after HSBC reported its full year results for 2010.

Pre-tax profit at HSBC more than doubled to $19 billion, however this was still below the $20.27 billion predicted by analysts.

Banking shares may also have been impacted by risk and uncertainty rising over the weekend.

Troubles in Libya have continued to intensify as unarmed protestors against the regime of Colonel Gaddafi have started to morph into armed rebels. While Gaddafi has lost control of large swathes of Libya, he still seems to be secure in Tripoli.

Meanwhile in Ireland a new government committed to renegotiating the terms of last year's EU bailout has been elected.

By 10:25 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 1.22 per cent to 62.08 pence per share, RBS shares dropped 1.07 pence per share to 45.16 pence per share and HSBC shares fell 4.28 per cent to 680.70 pence per share.

Barclays shares however rose 0.03 per cent to 313.40 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.51 per cent to 5,970.47.