ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell resigns

The deputy chairman of ASIC, Peter Kell, has resigned, eight months before his extended term was due to come to end. 

Mr Kell been the point man leading the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s response to the financial services royal commission, at which he has appeared twice.

He was initially due to leave ASIC in May but was asked by the government to stay around to assist with the transition of new chairman James Shipton and to lead the royal commission response. 

He will keep working at ASIC until December 6, when its royal commission work is expected to be done. 

“It’s been a privilege being commissioner in an organisation like ASIC, and I was happy to stay on to help the James Shipton transition into the new chair. Now that that has occurred, and the fact we have several additional commissioners which have come on board, the timing is right for me to move on,” Mr Kell told The Australian Financial Review. 

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He has been at ASIC for seven years and has been a vocal critic of the banking sector, driving many of the ASIC’s moves in the sector, including its recent report criticising credit cards and the regulator’s moves to improve the terms in lending contracts.

“The coalition government thanks Mr Kell for his contribution to ASIC and wishes him well in his future endeavours,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a statement announcing the resignation. 

ASIC has a new commissioner Danielle Press, starting this week.

Another new commissioner, Sean Hughes, will start later this year.

It also has a new deputy chair, Daniel Crennan QC, who is focusing on enforcement.

The departure of Mr Kell comes after Mr Frydenberg criticised the past failures of ASIC in the Financial Review at the weekend and promised it new powers to speedily compensate victims of misconduct.

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