Shares in British banks were broadly up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as investors rallied after continuing threats from ratings agencies.

Yesterday Moody's said it could downgrade part-nationalised banks Lloyds Banking Group and RBS as British authorities appear less inclined to offer a bailout should another crisis hit.

Meanwhile Friday and Monday saw ratings agencies put the credit rating of Italy and Belgium on negative, while Greece had its rating downgraded yet again, down to B+, adding to the concerns about sovereign debt in the eurozone.

The news did little to help banking shares earlier this week, but today investors appeared to stage a brief rally after the falls.

By 10:15 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 0.06 per cent to 49.71 pence per share.

However RBS shares rose 1.14 per cent to 40.90 pence per share, Barclays shares climbed 1.64 per cent to 269.95 pence per share and HSBC shares increased 0.72 per cent to 628.00 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.06 per cent to 5,854.77.