Shares in British banks were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as investors started to regain their confidence after a spate of global events triggered panic selling.

At the beginning of the year the FTSE 100 had edged its way past the 6,000 mark, thanks in part to the late December "Santa rally", but also due to an apparently improving economic outlook.

The last two weeks however have seen those early highs drop due to a series of global events. First there was to unrest in the Middle East and North Africa turning into heightened repression in Bahrain and now civil war in Libya.

As these events unfolded the markets were then hit by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan. Meanwhile in the background was the spectre of another euro-bailout, this time for Portugal.

Taken together all this helped send the FTSE 100 down to the 5,600s as investors saw risk mount by the day.

This morning however shares were up as investors started to snap up bargains after seemingly realising that the wild sell offs of last week may have been a slight overreaction.

By 10:25 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were up 1.37 per cent to 60.57 pence per share, RBS shares climbed 0.66 per cent to 41.06 pence per share, Barclays shares rose 3.24 per cent to 291.25 pence per share and HSBC shares increased 1.81 per cent to 634.40 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was up 1.08 per cent to 5,780.12.