The rebranding, which gives RBS control of the 35-year old ABN Amro franchise in the UAE, is the start of a new drive to expand the British bank’s presence in the Middle East.

Colin Macdonald, country executive for the UAE, would not comment on whether RBS was any closer to resolving the fate of a 40 per cent stake in Saudi Hollandi previously owned by ABN Amro.

He added that RBS was currently looking for opportunities to expand into Islamic finance for its retail customers, and that the first phase of launching a new initiative to attract that market was expected before the end of the year.