Monday 27 June 2016 1:00 pm

Trading suspended in Barclays and RBS as European bank shares crash

Trading in bank shares was temporarily suspended on multiple occasions today as the value of European lenders tumbled in response to the vote to leave the EU.

Financial giants Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) both fell more than 18 per cent by lunchtime as markets increasingly turned on stocks perceived to be most at risk from prolonged uncertainty over the UK's relationship with Europe.

The fall was so steep at the two FTSE 100-listed lenders, it triggered circuit breakers on the London Stock Exchange, which automatically bring trading to a five minute halt if a stock falls by more than eight per cent from its opening price.

Barclays was halted for five minutes this morning, while buying and selling in RBS was suspended on two separate occasions as shares tanked by more than 22 per cent. 

In Europe, share prices at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse fell to their lowest ever level.

Both UK banks are currenty trading at their lowest level since the financial crash. Barclays is currently down 18 per cent on Friday's close at 126p, while RBS is down 22 per cent. The fall follows sharp losses of around 20 per cent for both banks during trading on Friday. 

Deutsche Bank – which has come under sustained pressure in the negative interest rate environment – crashed to €12.40 a share, down seven per cent on the day. Before the financial crisis a share in the German lender topped €117.

Credit Suisse fell more than eight per cent to SFr10.33 – its lowest ever level. Before the referendum it was trading at more than SFr13.

Other London-listed stocks to suffer the fate of having trading halted were FTSE 100 housebuilders Taylor Wimpey, Berkeley Group and Persimmon, insurers Legal and General and FTSE 250 challenger bank Virgin Money.

On Friday, with markets reeling from the UK's decision to breakaway from the EU, the FTSE 100 suffered its worst open since the financial crisis, before recovering to stand 3.2 per cent down for the day.

This morning, the bluechip index was off by 1.2 per cent at 6,067.

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However, the flight from risky assets pushed government bond yields even further into record-low territory. A 10-year bond from the UK government crashed below one per cent today, standing at 0.95 per cent by mid-morning, an unprecedented fall of 0.13 percentage points – or 13 basis points – in one day.