Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone continued to fray investor nerves.

The Irish government is currently coming under increasing pressure from fellow members of the eurozone to accept a bailout either from the European Union or the International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile yesterday the Portuguese Finance Minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, warned that his own country faced a genuine danger of needing its own bailout.

Today European finance ministers are due to meet in Brussels in a bid to solve the crisis.

By 10:25 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 2.52 per cent to 68.11 pence per share, RBS shares dropped 0.66 per cent to 42.04 pence per share, Barclays shares fell 1.04 per cent to 279.50 pence per share and HSBC shares declined 1.50 per cent to 671.60 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 1.15 per cent to 5,753.60.