Part-nationalised banks led declines on the FTSE in late Tuesday trading amid concerns about what the Government plans to do with its stakes in them after the General Election.
The FTSE fell sharply after lunch, down 45.54 points, or 0.8%, to 5,665.09, dragged down by RBS, Lloyds, and Barclays, which all fell more than 3%.
Shares in RBS took one of the biggest hits, down 1.61p, or 3.6%, to 43.17p per share.
The price of shares in Lloyds Banking Group also dropped, down 2.15p, or 3.4%, to 61.1p a share, and shares in Barclays Plc fell 11.55p, or 3.15%, to 355.3p.
It has been a bad day for financials in general.
The big news was fund manager Gartmore's suspension of high profile fund manager Guillaume Rambourg, pending the outcome of an internal investigation in relation to trading breaches.
The group's share price plummeted 31.36% on the news, tumbling 53p to116.00p per share.
Elsewhere, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) fined RBS £28.6m for possible price-fixing after Barclays confessed to the watchdog what had been going on.
Barclays is in the clear under the OFT rule of not punishing informers, but RBS, Barclays and Lloyds Banking are all in the red
Other fallers were asset managers Investec, its shares down 20.5p to 541.5p, a drop of 3.65%, and insurer Standard Life, which shed 6.5p, or 3.12%, to 202.1p.
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