UK looks to boost its Middle East trade with former RBS CEO

Simon Penney was also head of wholesale and international banking at FGB between 2013 and 2016
UK looks to boost its Middle East trade with former RBS CEO
Former Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Simon Penney will serve as the UK’s trade commissioner in the Middle East, according to British media reports.
By Staff writer
Mon 28 May 2018 11:09 AM

Former Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Simon Penney will serve as the UK’s trade commissioner in the Middle East, according to British media reports.

According to the UK’s Times newspaper, Simon Penney, who also served as the head of wholesale and international banking at First Gulf Bank between 2013 and 2016,  will begin work in the Middle East this summer.

The newspaper quotes Penney as saying that he believes there is a “vast appetite for British goods and services” in countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Penney’s appointment was confirmed as the UK’s trade secretary, Liam Fox, was on a tour of the Middle East. The appointment marks the first time that a trade commissioner has been recruited from outside government ranks.

In 2017, the British government announced that it would hire nine trade commissioner to promote the UK in key foreign markets.

Prior to joining RBS as CEO in 2013, Penney worked at ABN Amro for nine years, including four as CEO.

“There are huge numbers of Middle Eastern investors looking to invest in the UK,” Penney said. “The UK’s trade relationship with the region is already strong, but its true potential has not yet been tapped. I look forward to getting back on the ground and making the case for UK plc.”

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