A wide range of companies, from global banks to innovators in financial technology, are well-established themselves in the region.
Over 30 national and international banks and financial institutions are based in Leeds City Region, including first direct, HSBC, Bank of Scotland, Yorkshire Bank, KPMG and Direct Line Insurance Group. Leeds City Region is also home to three of the UK’s five largest building societies.
This substantial cluster produces the largest GVA contribution in financial and professional services in the UK outside of London, with particular strengths in banking, legal services, insurance, and financial technologies.
Leeds City Region is home to nine higher education institutions, representing the largest concentration of universities outside of London, and providing an excellent pipeline of skilled graduates to businesses.
Leeds has been ranked third best performing city in the UK outside of London for attracting FDI in the EY Attractiveness Survey, with 21 projects selecting the city in 2018. The results highlight that overseas investors continue to see Leeds and the wider region as a competitive location for investment.
The fastest growing legal sector
Leeds has Britain’s fastest growing legal sector, and has established itself as the country’s second-biggest law hub behind London, with the sector worth around £300 million pounds a year.
Major legal services firms including DLA Piper, Squire Patton Boggs, Addleshaw Goddard, Eversheds, Pinsent Mason and Walker Morris have substantial presences in the city.
As well as a strength in middle and back office operations and support services, Leeds law firms offer the same range of services as London-based firms, at considerably lower fees, conducting legal work for UK and global clients.