The city’s strength in financial services is reflected in the size and number of companies and the depth and quality of provision.
Around 120,000 people work in the sector in Leeds, making the city the second largest centre for financial and professional services outside London and an integral part of the UK’s financial services industry.
In the wider Leeds city region, there are 276,000 employed in financial and business services.
In the last ten years employment has grown by 18%, and a further 18% growth is projected over the next decade.
Leeds is a major centre for accountancy and legal services, mortgage, corporate and retail finance, banking, insurance, stockbroking and telephone and internet-based financial services.
More than 200 accountancy practices operate in the city, including the majority of the 20 largest UK practices.
Leeds has over 30 national and international banks, many of whose northern or regional offices are based in the city. It is the headquarters for First Direct and is home to Yorkshire Bank and large Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS operations.
The city is an important centre for equity, venture and risk finance. Founded in Leeds, the venture capital provider, YFM, is now the UK’s largest provider of risk capital to small and medium sized enterprises.
Leeds financial and professional firms have expanded nationally and internationally and act for clients all over the world. The majority are represented or have links overseas in all the major markets.
First Direct, UKI Partnerships, Direct Line, HBOS, Santander, RBS and TD Waterhouse have large operations in the city, and the region is also home to a number of mutual building societies, including the Leeds, Skipton, Ecology and the country’s second largest – the Yorkshire.
The Bank of England has a major presence in the city through its Leeds cash centre, which is responsible for bulk note handling for the North of England. The Bank’s Agency for Yorkshire and the Humber, which reports to the Monetary Policy Committee on economic conditions in the region, is also based in Leeds.
Financial Leeds is a private sector led membership organisation set up to promote the interests of the sector and the continued growth of Leeds and the wider city region as a major centre for financial and business services.