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ASIC exec resigns over $70k expense scandal

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Chair, James Shipton from The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) appears during a public hearing in front of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services at Parliament House on September 13, 2019 in Canberra, Australia. The hearing is reviewing the performance and operation of the corporate regulator.  (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)
David Crennan (left) sits with ASIC chair James Shipton (middle), who has stood aside. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

The deputy chair of Australia's corporate regulator has quit over an expenses revelation involving relocation costs.

Daniel Crennan tendered his resignation from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Monday morning.

"I had been intending to retire from my position in July 2021," Crennan said in a statement.

"However, in the current circumstances, I have decided that it is in the best interests of ASIC for me to resign now. I have therefore tendered my resignation to the treasurer with immediate effect."

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann confirmed the departure during a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra.

Crennan was asked to move from Melbourne to Sydney in October 2018.

ASIC agreed to pay his relocation costs which included a rental allowance.

Crennan said he was told the payments were consistent with ASIC policy but later learned about concerns raised by the auditor-general.

"I requested that ASIC cease paying me the rental allowance. I also offered and agreed to repay the rental allowance ASIC had paid to me," Crennan said.

The auditor-general has recommended an independent review be conducted into issues raised regarding relocation payments, including those given to Crennan.

"That review will take some time," he said.

"In order to ensure that ASIC's important work is not disrupted, I will remain available to facilitate the orderly transfer of work to my successor."

ASIC chairman James Shipton has also stepped aside after it was revealed the organisation paid more than $118,000 for him to receive personal tax advice.

Shipton has agreed to repay the money, which he received after relocating to Australia from the United States to run ASIC in 2018.

The independent review will also examine these costs.

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