Mark puts his winnings in the trunk

The Nottingham strongly believes in branches - and so does home insurance competition winner Mark Largan.

Dad-of-one Mark, who lives near Hemel Hempstead, scooped £500 just for taking a no obligation home insurance quote at our St Albans branch.

The money is not going to be spent on Christmas presents or decorations - the 57-year-old has it earmarked to go towards a forest he is buying in Cornwall!

Semi-retired Mark, who had a successful career in corporate finance in London and also lectures on the subject in four UK universities, already owns a forest in Devon and is adding to his collection alongside his daughter Samantha, 23, who will be joint owner.

Mark said: “I saw the competition advertised and even though my home insurance isn’t up for renewal yet I thought it worth getting a quote and having my name in the hat. I’m not normally lucky, so it was a nice surprise to win.

“The timing was good because my daughter and I are in the process of buying a commercial forest in Cornwall, an area where I already own a couple of properties. I also have a forest in Devon which I bought a couple of months ago.

“Alongside my career and family I have been a long-time amateur geologist and have always been fascinated by trees. Forests are also a good investment and can be an excellent legacy.

“I have a particular interest in the Douglas Fir, which can grow to an impressive 150 feet and only thrives in certain parts of the UK. The money from The Nottingham will help buy a few of them - probably about a quarter of an acre of forest in fact.”

Mark, who also has savings accounts with us, is not averse to online banking and sees its place in the financial services spectrum but is also delighted the society continues to open branches on the high street.

He added: “It’s interesting to hear that The Nottingham opened seven more branches recently, particularly in light of so many other financial services institutions announcing closures.

“I use the internet for some of my banking but there is still an extremely important place for branches - particularly for the older generations.

“Many elderly people - my 91-year-old mother being one of them - find it extremely hard to adapt to the digital world and it’s my view that being online-only is discriminatory to them. There is an element of social responsibility that comes into play.”

The home insurance ‘win £500’ competition runs until 24 December and anyone who takes out a quote in-branch or at will be in with a chance of winning. In total there are 16 prizes, totalling £8,000, being given away.

For more information on The Nottingham’s home insurance offering visit

Mark Largan, who is putting his £500 win towards the purchase of a forest in Cornwall


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