Australia's corporate watchdog deputy chair resigns amid expenses scandal

SYDNEY (REUTERS) – The deputy chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) resigned on Monday (Oct 26) amid an expenses scandal that has engulfed senior executives at the corporate regulator.

Daniel Crennan’s resignation comes just days after it was revealed that he had received a rental allowance of around A$70,000 (S$67,800) when he relocated from Melbourne to Sydney after he took the deputy chair job in 2018.

“I had been intending to retire from my position July 2021,” Mr 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.”

ASIC chairman James Shipton stood aside from his position on Friday, pending an investigation by the government’s auditor into relocation and tax expenses claimed by both men.

Mr Shipton was granted almost A$118,000 for tax advice performed by KPMG related to his relocation from the United States, also in 2018.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Friay said the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) had identified the payments may have exceeded the limits to which they were entitled and ordered a review.

Mr Crennan said he had agreed to a request by Mr Shipton to move to Sydney in October 2018, and ASIC had agreed to pay him a relocation package which included a rental allowance.

“I was told the payment of this allowance was consistent with ASIC policy,” Mr Crennan added.

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