British banks must brace themselves for the chaotic break-up of the euro, the City watchdog has warned.
The head of the Financial Services Authority told the UK's biggest lenders to draw up contingency plans for the collapse of the single currency.
Hector Sants, who is in charge of regulating the banking system, gave the order during crisis talks with senior executives from high street players including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander.
Advertisement - story continues below
City sources said big insurance companies were also urged to prepare for the exit of one or more countries from the eurozone.