She will serve for an initial term of three years and oversee the final stage of investigations into complaints made against the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Prudential Regulations Authority (PRA) and the Bank of England.
The investigation was launched last month by Townsend who advised the FCA to improve the performance of its complaints process.
Somal’s role will independent from these three organisations.
Before taking her role, Somal will step down from positions as the independent assessor of the Financial Ombudsman Service, a council member on the General Medical Council, and as a senior independent panel member for public appointments at the Cabinet Office.
She will retain her positions as a judge of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as chief commissioner at the Data and Marketing Commission.
Christopher Woolard, interim chief executive of the FCA, said: “Independent scrutiny is vital to the transparency and standards of the UK regulatory system.
“We are pleased to see Amerdeep appointed to the role of complaints commissioner and we look forward to working with her. We would also like to thank Antony Townsend for his dedication and commitment over the last six years.”
Sam Woods, deputy governor for Prudential Regulation and CEO of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said her role was key to “upholding a fair regulatory system” and making sure effectiveness was improved over time.
Somal (pictured) added: “I am delighted to be appointed to this important role.
“The complaints commissioner plays a critical role – not only in providing people who are unhappy with the financial regulators with recourse to an independent review but also in helping them focus more widely on where they could improve the experience of all their customers.”
“I will ensure these important institutions are held accountable and open to rigorous scrutiny,” she said.