Shares in British banks were broadly down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as concerns about sovereign debt in the eurozone continued to dog investors.

According to reports France and Germany have begun putting pressure on Portugal to accept a bailout from the EU and the IMF, just as Ireland was cornered into accepting a bailout.

The spectre of a new round of bailouts appeared to depress shares in early trading.

By 10:00 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.89 per cent to 65.84 pence per share, RBS shares declined 0.62 per cent to 39.85 pence per share and HSBC shares fell 0.78 per cent to 674.70 pence per share.

However Barclays saw its shares rise 0.31 per cent to 275.95 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.28 per cent to 5,967.46.