Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as economic concerns turned away from Europe for once and struck in the Far East.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor said it had downgraded Japan's credit rating from AA to AA-.

The news appeared to depress shares in British banks, as investors worried about the global economic recovery.

By 09:45 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.76 per cent to 62.53 pence per share, RBS shares fell 1.23 per cent to 42.50 pence per share, Barclays shares declined 0.49 per cent to 294.05 pence per share and HSBC shares dropped 0.29 per cent to 694.00 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.07 per cent to 5,965.11.