Shares in British banks were broadly down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as investors continued to fret over sovereign debt in the eurozone, especially in Ireland.

Yesterday Irish ten-year bond yields rose to 8.6 per cent, the highest level seen since the single European currency was introduced.

The ongoing problems in Ireland sent shares in British banks down in morning trading yesterday as well, with RBS being especially hard hit due to fears that it was more exposed than most to problems in Ireland.

In the third quarter of this year RBS said that its Irish business, Ulster Bank, made a loss of £176 million, thanks to bad loans worth £286 million.

Today RBS shares managed to recover some of the ground lost yesterday, while rival banks continued to fall.

By 10:25 shares in RBS were up 1.83 per cent to 41.77 pence per share.

However Lloyds Banking Group shares fell 0.41 per cent to 68.31 pence per share, Barclays shares dropped 1.37 per cent to 281.00 pence per share and HSBC shares declined 0.83 per cent to 678.30 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.63 per cent to 5,778.50.