Up to 22 foreign banks have flagged their intention to either withdraw from or reduce their exposure to commercial property lending in Australia, according to the peak lobbying body for the property industry.

'The bankers are foreshadowing to the owners that they're going to quit the market place or scale back,' Property Council of Australia chief executive Peter Verwer said.

He added that the banks were not leaving Australia and would lend to other Australian industry sectors, but would scale back their exposure to commercial property.

While not all 22 banks may have a physical presence in Australia, one analyst believes they would at least have representatives.

The Australian