Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading following a broadly positive week for Britain's financial services industry.

Banks saw their shares rise generally this week as retailers reported good sales over Christmas, despite fears that the snow could have crippled the peak trading period.

In addition a successful Portuguese debt auction this week helped to ease concerns, at least for the moment, that another eurozone bailout is on the horizon.

Today however banking shares appeared to be the victim of a minor bout of profit taking.

By 10:25 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.73 per cent to 68.03 pence per share, RBS fell 0.61 per cent to 42.37 pence per share, Barclays dropped 0.70 per cent to 303.85 pence per share and HSBC shares declined 1.30 per cent to 703.70 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.84 per cent to 5,973.29.