Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading following yesterday's decision by the Irish parliament to support the country's austerity budget.

The budget, which was proposed by the government to qualify for the 85 billion euro bailout from the European Union, will see public spending cut by six billion euros.

The decision to endorse the package, which kept Ireland's corporation tax at 12.5 per cent, was far from unanimous, with 82 MPs supporting the proposal and 77 voting against.

Irish MPs will also be voting later on extra cuts worth nine billion euros. The vote is expected to be close but is also likely to pass.

The news however appears to have offered little comfort to investors, with shares falling in early trading.

By 09:40 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.10 per cent to 66.63 pence per share, RBS fell 0.22 per cent to 40.97 pence per share, Barclays shares dropped 0.59 per cent to 261.05 pence per share and HSBC shares declined 1.08 per cent to 658.30 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.26 per cent to 5,793.26.