Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as concerns about sovereign debt in the eurozone resurfaced.

On Monday Greece had its credit rating downgraded yet again by Moody's, meanwhile Spain looks to be struggling with its own finances after it had to pay a premium to sell off new debt.

South of the Mediterranean attention is also focused on Libya were Colonel Gaddafi's forces have continued striking back against rebels. The divided oil-producing nation increasingly looks like settling down into a civil war of unknown length and outcome.

The increase in uncertainty in world markets did little to promote an appetite for shares in risk sensitive banks.

By 10:40 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.80 per cent to 61.03 pence per share, RBS shares dropped 0.38 per cent to 44.21 pence per share, Barclays shares fell 1.17 per cent to 305.00 pence per share and HSBC shares declined 1.01 per cent to 663.80 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.46 per cent to 5,947.04.