He says: “With Barclays needing to rebuild its balance sheet and not wanting to accept the bailout from the UK government, the GCC investors are inevitably in a powerful position.”

The Barclays investment is split between a $3.5bn investment by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyen for a 16 per cent stake, $2bn from Qatar Investment Authority and the rest from other UAE and Qatari royal family members.

“Most importantly for the GCC investors is that the majority of the risk they assume in making this investment is in reality, actually underwritten by the British taxpayer. Should Barclays run into trouble in the future the Gulf investors understand that the British government will ensure that it does not fail,” says Hollings.

Ansbacher already has some experience of what it is like to work with Gulf investors, after it was acquired by Qatar National Bank in 2004.