Former SRA chief executive Antony Townsend has been confirmed as the new complaints commissioner for financial services, receiving a salary ‘on a level with judicial salaries’.

The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority announced his appointment in a statement this morning.

Townsend, who left the SRA in February, is responsible for the conduct of the final stage of investigations into complaints in connection with how the FCA and the bank, exercise, or fail to exercise, their relevant functions. The role is independent from these organisations.  

He takes up his position in May after the term of Sir Anthony Holland comes to a close.

Townsend said: ‘It is essential that people can have confidence in how the regulation of financial services is undertaken. I want to continue the work of Sir Anthony Holland in ensuring and demonstrating that serious complaints are fully investigated and a fair outcome achieved.’

According to its annual report published earlier this month, the Office of the Complaints Commissioner concluded 146 cases in 2013/14 – 88% from individual consumers and the remainder made up of solicitors on behalf of clients, IFAs, third parties and individual firms.

It has an annual income of £567,405, although the report did not state how much Holland is paid.

The advertisement for the job, taken out last October, said: ‘This is not expected to be a full-time position with remuneration likely to be on a level with judicial salaries, pro-rated as appropriate.’

Townsend was the first chief executive of the SRA. He was previously chief executive of the General Dental Council and director of education and standards at the General Medical Council.