Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has left the door open to a banking inquiry in New Zealand.

Even if New Zealand does not pursue its own investigation, Australia's inquiry will doubtless be of interest in this country because of New Zealand's links with Australian banks, she said.

New Zealand's biggest banks are Australian-owned, and financial services company AMP also does big business here.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning, Ardern said she was keeping a "very close eye" on the royal commission into the banking and financial sector in Australia.

Advertisement

"Because, of course, the link between our banking institutions and theirs, we'll be looking at what comes out of that."

Asked whether the Government was considering its own inquiry, she said: "I'm not going to leap in right now and say that that's necessary.

"But in a way, by virtue of that work, we will certainly probably have an outcome that will be of use and interest to us."

New Zealand's banking regulator the Financial Markets Authority is monitoring the inquiry and is in contact with its Australian counterpart.

In its first lot of hearings last week, the inquiry unearthed a series of scandals.

It led to one resignation, with AMP chief executive Craig Meller quitting on Friday after revelations that his company had charged people for advice they never received.

Earlier in the week, the inquiry heard that advisers from Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the parent of ASB bank, charged dead clients for financial advice — in one case for a decade.

Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi has said that he did not think that New Zealand had such extremes of behaviour.

"I have not had any advice to suggest that we need a financial services inquiry," he said.

"There's always room for improvement however, so we have work under way including the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill and development of a Code of Conduct."

Reserve Bank head Adrian Orr has also said that an investigation was not warranted here.

"The true problem and challenge that is going on in Australia is cultural," he told TVNZ.

"It's not whether the regulator was awake or asleep. It's cultural."

Orr said New Zealand banks were "infinitely better" than their counterparts in Australia.