Shares slide amid bail-out fears

European shares have fallen Tuesday, following sharp drops in Asia, amid wrangling in the US over the massive $700bn financial bail-out plan.

Doubts over how soon the rescue plan can be applied have emerged from both the Democrats and Republicans.

While the bail-out package was generally welcomed when it was made official last week, there are concerns about how the $700bn plan will come into effect in practice. The White House says Congress must back the rescue plan to stop wider economic harm.

At 12 noon the FTSE 100 was 2.78% lower at 5090.91. Banks were amongst the biggest losers with HBOS down more than 15%, with Bradford & Bingley hot on it's heels down 14.16%