Shares in British banks were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading ahead of an announcement on interest rates from the US Federal Reserve expected later today.

While the Federal Reserve is not expected to make any changes to interest rates investors are likely to be scrutinising the US central bank's statement for signs that it may intend more large-scale asset purchases to stimulate the US economy.

In other economic news, this time closer to home, Rightmove said that house prices in England and Wales dropped for the third month in a row in September.

By 10:30 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were up 1.37 per cent to 76.37 pence per share, RBS shares increased 0.44 per cent to 48.05 pence per share, Barclays shares rose 0.95 per cent to 307.55 pence per share while HSBC shares climbed 0.86 per cent to 678.50 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was up 0.94 per cent to 5,560.45.