The Reserve Bank could introduce tougher internationally-agreed capital rules from the start of 2013.
The Basel III capital adequacy requirements aim to ensure banks have bigger cash reserves to avoid another bank meltdown like the panic of 2008, which led to the credit crunch and fueled the recession.
Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer says the central bank is proposing to adopt most of the Basel III proposals into its standards, except for those that are less conservative than what is already in place, or which will not suit New Zealand circumstances.
Mr Spencer says New Zealand banks are well capitalsied, and are therefore well positioned to meet the new requirements.
But the central bank has issued a consultation document outlining the new requirements and has asked banks to assess how the changes will affect them.
Submissions close on 27 January.