Shares in British banks were broadly up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading ahead of Wednesday's Comprehensive Spending Review, which will detail government spending cuts.

Yesterday 35 of Britain's top business leaders wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph urging the government not to water down the cuts and providing reassurance that the private sector would be "more than capable" of providing jobs for those affected.

The letter said that cutting the deficit early was essential, saying that the consequences of not doing so would mean higher interest rates and an extra £100 billion in debt by the end of the Parliament, leading to deeper cuts and more job losses later on.

By 10:45 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were up 1.88 per cent to 71.50 pence per share, RBS shares rose 0.15 per cent to 46.47 pence per share and HSBC shares increased 0.21 per cent to 654.70 pence per share.

However Barclays shares were down 0.21 per cent to 284.40 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.09 per cent to 5,698.42.