Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 as Ireland's ongoing debt crisis appears to be coming to a resolution.

Yesterday the governor of the Irish central bank, Patrick Honohan, became the first public official in the country to admit that a bailout was likely. He said that the size of any bailout would probably be in the tens of billions of euros.

Until now members of the Irish government have continually denied that they need a bailout, despite considerable pressure from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

While Irish public finances are believed to be relatively secure, funding of the country's bailed out banks is believed to be perilously limited.

Speaking on RTE, Mr Honohan, said, "It'll be a large loan because the purpose of the amount to be advanced or to be made available to be borrowed is to show that Ireland has sufficient firepower to deal with any concerns of the market. That's the purpose of it."

"It is my expectation that [a bailout] will happen, absolutely."

Despite the indication that Ireland is moving towards a bailout the news did little to help banking shares in Britain.

By 09:35 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 1.68 per cent to 66.65 pence per share, RBS shares dropped 0.36 per cent to 41.86 pence per share, Barclays shares declined 1.28 per cent to 274.40 pence per share and HSBC shares fell 1.21 per cent to 658.40 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.52 per cent to 5,738.61.