New Lending by China's Top Four Banks Fall in September

Pedestrians walk past a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in central Beijing.
Teh Eng Koon |AFP | Getty Images

China's top four state-owned banks extended 166 billion yuan ($26.42 billion) in new loans in September, down from 220 billion yuan the previous month, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Thursday.

Citing unidentified sources, the paper said the reason for the slowdown in lending was due to liquidity tightness at the quarter-end and after the central bank instructed some banks to stop selling commercial paper at discounts to raise fund.

China's "big four" banks are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China , China Construction Bank , Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China .

They account for between 30 to 40 percent of total bank lending in the world's second-largest economy.

A Reuters poll showed earlier this week overall new lending totaled 650 billion yuan last month, down from August's  robust 703.9 billion yuan though still sharply higher than  July's 540.1 billion yuan. The September data is expected to be released within the next few days.