ASIC deputy chair resigns

by Rebecca Pike18 Sep 2018

After seven years of service, it has been announced today that the deputy chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will resign.

Peter Kell has been part of ASIC’s leadership team since he joined in 2011, first as a member and then from 2013 as Deputy Chair.

Kell’s resignation will be effective from 6 December.

A statement from treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that "his experience and understanding of corporate regulation has been appreciated by successive governments as well as members of ASIC".

Kell’s time at ASIC followed a stint as deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). He has also been on the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board since its establishment, has made a significant contribution to improving financial literacy and ensured that the transition to the new Chair of ASIC was as smooth as possible, including serving as Acting Chair.

ASIC has six Commissioners, with new Commissioner Danielle Press starting this week. Sean Hughes is due to commence as a Commissioner later this year.

Frydenberg's statement highlighted the reforms to ASIC, to ensure it has the resources and powers it needs to combat misconduct in the financial services industry and across all corporations for the protection of Australian consumers. This includes:

  • injecting $70.1 million into ASIC to boost its enforcement capabilities and address other regulatory priorities, in addition to $121.3 million in additional funding in 2016 to bolster ASIC’s investigative and surveillance capabilities;
  • the appointment of Daniel Crennan QC as a new deputy chair who has a key focus on enforcement action; and
  • announcing the strengthening of criminal and civil penalties by increasing terms of imprisonment and fines, increasing the maximum civil penalties that can be imposed by courts and allowing wrongdoers to be stripped of profits illegally obtained, or losses avoided, from contraventions of the law.

Frydenberg said the Coalition Government thanked Kell for his contribution to ASIC and wished him well in his future endeavours.

More to come.