Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 due to fears about sovereign debt in the eurozone.

Yesterday both Spain and Portugal announced austerity measures to reduce their budget deficits and avoid a Greece-style crisis.

By 11:39 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 2.68 per cent to 58.93 pence per share, RBS shares declined 2.01 per cent to 48.17 pence per share, Barclays shares fell 3.98 per cent to 315.85 pence per share and HSBC shares decreased 1.25 per cent to 656.64 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 1.71 per cent to 5,340.86.