Chinese banks are ramping up their lending to retain the country's pace of growth in the face of a listless global economy.

Chinese financial institutions issued 793.2 billion yuan ($125 billion) in May up from 682 billion yuan in the previous month, stepping up lending by 16.3 percent, according to data released Monday by the People's Bank of China. The upswing outpaced economists' expectations.

This growth spurt in lending isn't the first offshoot of China's measures to boost its economy. On Thursday last week, the country pared its deposit rate back to 3.25 percent and slashed its benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage points to 6.31 percent -- the first cutback on borrowing costs since December 2008. 

Meanwhile, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, in a crackdown on shadow banking, has instructed Shanghai-based banks to examine risks inherent in their issue of loans to all major customers.