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appointment of new independent assessor

25 April 2013

The board of the Financial Ombudsman Service today announced the appointment of Amerdeep Somal as the new independent assessor for the service.

The independent assessor's role is to investigate complaints from consumers and businesses about the level of service the ombudsman has provided.

Ms Somal takes on the role of independent assessor from Mrs Linda Costelloe Baker, who steps down at the end of her term in May 2013.

Amerdeep Somal is a commissioner and board member at the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), a judge at the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and public appointments assessor at the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Sir Nicholas Montagu, chairman of the ombudsman service, welcomed Ms Somal to her new role, saying:

The independent assessor plays a vital role - not only in providing people who are unhappy with our service with recourse to an independent review, but also in helping us focus more widely on where we could improve the experience of all our customers.
Amerdeep brings a wealth of experience from a career which has covered a wide range of subjects, from the criminal justice system to domestic violence and disability. This, coupled with her independence, judgement and integrity, equips her ideally for the role of Independent Assessor.

In acknowledging his thanks to the current independent assessor, Sir Nicholas said:

Linda Costelloe Baker's close scrutiny of our handling of cases has helped us learn a great deal about providing the best possible example of customer service - and her insight over the last three years has helped us in our commitment to constant improvement.

The appointment follows a selection process that included advertising in the national press in January 2013 and interviews with a panel of non-executive board members and an independent person.

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image: Amerdeep Somal

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