The city of Leeds has a quite diverse economy, where employment in the modern service sector is exceeding that in manufacturing industries, which are considered to be more traditional.
Around 24,7% employees work in public administration, health and education. 23,9% employees work in banking, insurance and finance sectors. 21,4% work in distribution, restaurants and hotels. Leeds financial and services industry is 5th in the UK (£2.1 billion in 2011) and industries that are considered to be tertiary (retail, offices, call centers and media) highly contributed to Leeds economic growth.
There are more than 30 different international and national banks, whose regional or northern offices are based in the city of Leeds. It is a home to Yorkshire Bank and headquarters for the First Direct. Also, the large HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS Group and Santander operations run here!
It is important to mention that Leeds is a center for venture, equity and risk finance. The YFM Equity Partners, which was founded in Leeds and is actually a venture capital provider, is today the largest provider of the risk capital to medium and small-sized companies and enterprises in the United Kingdom.
There are many law firms in Leeds, around 150 to be precise, which operate in the city and employ around 7,000 people. Leeds has a highly competitive market when it comes to legal issues and is listed second on the UK Legal 500 list, right next to London.
Other companies which are based in Leeds include International Personal Finance, William Hill, Leeds Building Society, ASDA and Northern Foods. Companies such as KPMG, Capita Group, Direct Line, Yorkshire Building Society, Aviva, Telefónica Europe, BT Group and TD Waterhouse have a significant and important presence in the city as many, many other minor and medium- sized companies, which are not mentioned here.