Shares in British banks were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading ahead of a speech by Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve.

It is hoped that Mr Bernanke will give some indication of how the Federal Reserve will deal with low inflation in the US.

The Federal Reserve may decide to resume the buying of long term US Treasury securities when it meets in early November.

By 09:55 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were up 2.58 per cent to 72.29 pence per share, RBS shares rose 2.56 per cent to 46.46 pence per share, Barclays shares increased 2.09 per cent to 285.80 pence per share and HSBC shares climbed 0.80 per cent to 667.60 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.07 per cent to 5,723.12.