These magnificent merfolk with their tails tying themselves in knots and the strange fish (known in the merfolk language as 'lunch') are over the door of the Leeds Building Society in Kingsway. The 1909 design is by the building's architects Gibson, Skipwith & Gordon and they were carved by Gilbert Seale in Camberwell.
Of course, they are far too much fun for a building society. The shop was originally designed (I think) as a stationery shop called The Pen Corner, owned by L.G.Sloan Ltd who sold playing cards, board games and so on as well as pens and paper. Waterman pens were a speciality, and the building is still known as Waterman House. Are the merfolk a rebus, an architectural pun? Or was Mr Sloan keen on all things marine? Or was it all just a coincidence and they were carved for someone else entirely?