British bank Barclays Plc categorically denied rumors it was about to announce a $10 billion writedown and see its top management quit, after the market talk sent its shares tumbling over 9 percent.
There is absolutely no substance to those rumors, a spokesman for Britain's third biggest bank said when asked about a possible $10 billion writedown.
He gave the same response when asked if the bank planned an emergency rights issue or if John Varley, its chief executive, or Bob Diamond, head of its Barclays Capital investment bank unit, planned to resign.
He declined to comment on talk that the bank may issue an emergency statement, but reiterated it planned to issue a trading update on Nov 27.
By 1220 GMT Barclays shares had pared losses but were still down 5 percent at 462 pence.
The shares had earlier crashed to 442p, their lowest level since July 2004, as the talk swirled that it faces big credit market related losses.
The London Stock Exchange temporarily suspended Barclays shares at 1132 GMT, which the exchange said is automatic after a big move in a stock.
Losses accelerated after Wachovia, the fourth-largest U.S. bank, said it had incurred about $1.1 billion of further losses in October from credit market turmoil. It followed warnings of even bigger writedowns at banks Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
Royal Bank of Scotland shares also fell sharply on fears it may make a big writedown. Its shares were down 4 percent at 398p, after touching 387.5p, their lowest for five years.
Shares in RBS have fallen for seven straight days, during which time they have fallen 23 percent. Barclays has tumbled 24 percent since the start of this month.
The more uncertainty there is around their positions the more the shares are being pushed down, said Mamoun Tazi, analyst at MF Global.
It addition to worries of big writedowns, both banks are likely to see a sharp slowdown in growth at their investment bank arms next year due to the market turmoil, analysts said.
Other UK bank shares also fell, with HBOS, HSBC, Alliance & Leicester all down over 2 percent.
(Reporting by Steve Slater, Sitaraman Shankar and Rebekah Curtis, editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)