Julian Gouge, head of the international personal banking division for Middle East and Asia, says: “Our natural market share back in the UK is about 20 per cent, so we expect over time to reach our natural market share of our target market, which is the mass affluent expatriate community.”

The bank has been working on establishing a presence in the region since October 2006, but has only launched a representative office in the UAE in late April.

Gouge adds that in the future RBS may be able to use the established presence of ABN Amro, which was acquired by RBS, Santander and Fortis for $115bn in October 2007, to help leverage its existing branch network.