Kell to depart ASIC

Peter Kell today announced his resignation as deputy chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), effective 6 December, after seven years of service.

Kell has been part of ASIC’s leadership team since the beginning of his tenure in 2011, first as a member and then as deputy chair from 2013.

He was previously deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and has been a board member of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board since its establishment.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Kell’s experience and understanding of corporate regulation has been appreciated by successive governments, as well as members of ASIC.

The corporate regular has six commissioners, with new commissioner Danielle Press commencing this week.

Sean Hughes is due to start as a commissioner later this year.

Frydenberg said the coalition government has undertaken significant reforms to ensure ASIC 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 a further $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 its investigative and surveillance capabilities.

In addition, Daniel Crennan was appointed as new deputy chair with a key focus on enforcement action.

The government also announced 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.

These reforms support new ASIC chair James Shipton’s approach to increase the regulator’s strategic direction on proactive enforcement and lift onsite supervisory approaches, Frydenberg said.

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