Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as investors appeared to show caution ahead of key corporate announcements from the U.S.

Yesterday afternoon saw shares decline after ratings agency Standard & Poor's gave the U.S. a negative outlook due to the apparent inability of Democrats and Republicans to agree on a serious debt reduction strategy.

Today however investor's still looked to be feeling somewhat cautious as they await corporate results from banking giant Goldman Sachs and from technology firms Intel and IBM.

By 09:40 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.61 per cent to 58.47 pence per share, RBS shares fell 0.98 per cent to 41.40 pence per share, Barclays shares declined 0.22 per cent to 290.05 pence per share and HSBC shares dropped 0.26 per cent to 642.10 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was up 0.54 per cent to 5,901.51.