Three top Chinese banks approached Temasek to buy its stake in British lender Standard Chartered, the Financial Times reported. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China and China Construction Bank have reportedly made "informal and discreet" contact with Temasek to buy the Singaporean investment firm's 17% holding in Standard Chartered. However, an ICBC official reached for comment by Press Trust of India denied the claim, saying that the bank had "never made such contact with Temasek." Temasek, which is Standard Chartered's largest shareholder, refused the offer, the FT claimed, citing unnamed sources. The British bank has one of the largest branch networks in China among foreign institutions and has a 19.99% stake in Chinese lender Bohai Bank. The deal is believed to have been scuppered due to Standard Chartered's concerns about its independence, should the Chinese become shareholders. A Standard Chartered spokesman did not comment on any overtures by the Chinese, but said: "We believe we have a strong future as an independent bank."