Forum Della Magia Fri, 20 May 2022 20:45:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Forum Della Magia 32 32 UK e-book sales fall to lowest since 2012 Fri, 20 May 2022 20:45:15 +0000

The UK’s love affair with e-books appears to be over. The country reported a sharp drop in e-book sales last year, which the bookseller quoted a Nielsen BookData report as saying is the lowest since 2012. 80 million e-books were downloaded in 2021 , which is a significant drop from the 95 million eBooks downloaded in 2020, which is also the highest in recent times.

What’s interesting though is that shoppers still splurged on e-books even more than in 2012, 2013, and 2019. Additionally, of the 80 million e-books downloaded in 2021, one in five books sold was an e-book. This was again 13% of the total market value. Print book sales remained flat, while audiobooks continued their stellar performance and also saw record adoption levels in 2021.

When it comes to specific genres of eBooks that have been downloaded the most, Erotica tops the list with 61% of all eBooks downloaded, followed by Romance and Adventure/War. which accounted for 59% and 50% of the market. share. Fiction titles accounted for 43%, down from the 50% share of e-book sales recorded in 2020. Additionally, only 3% of children’s books were sold in e-book format. -book, down slightly from 4%. recorded a year ago.

The 4% spending rule no longer works thanks to inflation Fri, 20 May 2022 15:54:05 +0000


Bill Bengen first devised the 4% retirement rule in 1994. Since then, retirees have relied on this rule to help them determine how much they should spend in retirement. The rule is relatively simple. You add up all your investments and withdraw 4% of that total in your first year of retirement. In subsequent years, you adjust the amount you withdraw to account for inflation.-

So if you have $1 million saved for retirement, you’ll spend $40,000 the first year, and if inflation is 2% the next year, you’ll withdraw $40,800 that year. The 4% rule assumes that when you retire your portfolio is 50% stocks and 50% bonds.

Based on Bengen’s original paper, this approach would have protected retirees from running out of money for every 30-year period since 1926, even taking into account the Great Depression, the tech bubble, and the financial crisis. of 2008. However, due to the combination of high inflation and high stock and bond market valuations, Bengen thinks retirees will need to make some adjustments to their spending.

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Reduce expenses now

Bengen, who retired in 2013, suggests that given today’s unprecedented economic situation, retirees will need to cut spending and reduce their withdrawal rate. A recent study by Morningstar shows that the 4% withdrawal rate was too aggressive. His research recommends a starting withdrawal rate of 3.3%.

This assumes a 50/50 portfolio of stocks and bonds and a 90% certainty of not running out of funds over a 30-year period. The key thing he discovered is that the more flexible retirees are with their spending, the more likely they are to increase the rate of withdrawal over time.

WHAT IS A BEAR MARKET? And will we have in 2022?

BEAR MARKET AND RETIREES: How can seniors survive the stock market crash?

Impact of high inflation and high stock market valuations

The average US inflation rate since 1913 has been 3.1%. With inflation now at 8.3%, withdrawals under the 4% rule are increasing significantly. This means that the portfolio will have to generate higher returns or there is a higher chance that the portfolio will be depleted.

Another issue raised by Bengen is that stock market valuations are at historically high levels. Shares are now trading at around 36 times corporate earnings over the past decade. Bengen says, “That’s double the historical average. While low interest rates provide some justification for higher stock valuations, I think the market is expensive.

When stock market valuations are high, a bear market normally follows to bring prices back to their mean. So there is a good chance that there will be a recession or a bear market in the near future, if we are not already experiencing one. During these times, retirees will need to be extra careful when making withdrawals to ensure they don’t run out of money.

PENSION AND MEDICAL EXPENSES: Be prepared to spend over $300,000 on health care

After cutting spending, Bengen recommends retirees reduce their exposure to stocks and bonds. This would reduce their risk in the event of a recession or a bear market. By having more cash or other assets such as income-producing real estate, when the market goes down, it may be possible to buy stocks when they are cheaper. However, retirees should be careful. The important thing is not to try to time the market, as this can lead to even bigger problems.

Given current economic conditions, retirees will need to rethink the popular 4% rule. Experts, including the creator of this popular retirement income strategy, believe it’s outdated and that retirees should assess their financial plans and spending to manage the risk of running out of money. The key is to be flexible with your finances and keep a long-term financial view.

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]]> What You Need To Know About BNPL As Popularity Rises Fri, 20 May 2022 08:55:22 +0000

The popularity of buy now, pay later (BNPL) continues to grow, particularly among young adults in the UK, with half of Gen Z now using this payment option whenever it is available, according to TransUnion . The latest research from the global information and insights company one of the UK’s leading credit reference agencies – examines changing consumer habits and shows that six in 10 (64%) people aged 18-24 use buy now, pay later services.

Along with increased demand to buy now, pay later, research shows a strong appetite for credit from this generation, with 42% saying they plan to apply for new credit or refinance existing credit in the coming year. coming year – well above the 27% average for UK consumers. Kelli Fielding, Managing Director of TransUnion Consumer Interactive, said, “Young adults are likely to turn to credit to help them through life stages that have been put on hold for the past two years – whether either for major purchases, such as buying a car, or leaving the family home – as well as for day-to-day finances.

“Along with this, it’s clear to see the growing demand for buy-now-pay-later services, with Gen Z citing the main appeal being interest-free payments (70%), as well as spreading costs over time (62 %) and ease of use at checkout (54%) which is much more important for this age group than for the others.

Buy now, pay later Finance hit £6.4bn transaction value in 2021, according to industry reports[i] and growth looks set to continue. Kelli Fielding continued, “Starting this summer, buy now, pay later agreements will appear on TransUnion credit reports, helping people better manage their finances. It is important to note that this will have no immediate effect on your credit score. That said, how you manage your payments will be visible to lenders and could be taken into account if you apply for credit, so keeping track of your payments is very important.

To check your TransUnion credit score and report it for free, visit credit karma, Money Super Market, or Totally money.

Buy now, pay later on your loans and your credit report: here’s what you need to know:

Why is buy now, pay later added to credit reports?

TransUnion includes buy-it-now, pay-later data in credit reports to help people manage their finances and to ensure that payment behavior on buy-it-now, pay-later agreements is visible.

When will this information appear on my credit report?

TransUnion will integrate “buy now, pay later” data into traditional credit reports starting in summer 2022.

How will this affect my credit rating?

There will be no immediate effect on TransUnion’s credit ratings. However, as the data becomes more widely used, TransUnion will update its credit rating as appropriate.

Why are things changing?

People need to have as much choice as possible when it comes to finding finance that suits their needs and on affordable terms. Including buy-it-now and pay-later data in credit reports will help consumers and lenders make informed credit decisions.

Will buy now, pay later purchases made in the past show up on credit reports?

Providers will notify customers that their data is shared with TransUnion before it appears on their credit file and may confirm the dates from which it will apply.

If I miss a purchase now, pay later, will that affect my credit rating?

Credit scores won’t be affected initially, but missed payments would be visible to lenders and could affect your ability to borrow, so it’s very important to keep repayments as agreed.

Will credit checks now be used when I apply for buy now, pay later financing?

Buy now, pay later Funding checks will be posted on your TransUnion credit report and will be visible to other lenders. However, these verifications will be presented to lenders in a different way from the traditional in-depth searches, typically used for things like mortgages, credit cards and loans, or informal searches, often used for quotes and verifications of eligibility before credit is granted. It will be up to each finance provider to decide how they will use these new checks in their lending decisions.

]]> What rules should Baton Rouge school staff follow on social media? The new policy raises questions. | Law courts Thu, 19 May 2022 18:00:00 +0000

Superintendent Sito Narcisse is asking the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board to adopt a sweeping new policy tightly regulating what school employees can do on social media when it comes to interacting with students and discuss their work and the school district.

The proposed policy, titled “Employee Use of Social Media,” is due for a vote at the school board meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday. With little discussion, the board gave unanimous preliminary approval to the new policy on May 5, but some parents raised questions about the proposed policy in the days that followed.

Harmony Hobbs, a parent of public school children, sees the new policy as a clear effort to muzzle employees tempted to share concerns about their school or the school district.

“Fundamentally, our leaders want the ability to fire any employee who has the audacity to speak out against them on social media,” Hobbs wrote Monday in a public Facebook post. “SILENCE WILL NOT WORK.”

Benjamin Owens, another parent and practicing lawyer, said it took him only minutes to conclude the proposed policy was unconstitutional and “has no chance of surviving a legal challenge”.

“In particular, it is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, involves due process, and would chill First Amendment-protected speech,” Owens said.

Despite these concerns, several Louisiana school districts have similar policies for employees using social media. One of the first was the Orleans Parish School Board in June 2016, which is nearly identical to what East Baton Rouge Parish is currently considering.

Locally, Livingston Parish Schools adopted a similar policy in July 2020. Lafayette Parish Schools considered a version of this policy in November 2018, but quietly dropped the idea.

Currently, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System has a set of rules about what school employees can do on school property and with school computers. But there are no specific rules about what employees can do on the Internet outside of school.

The school district has a policy establishing general “standards of conduct” for employees that can be invoked if they do anything questionable outside of school.

The new policy includes several new employee-specific restrictions that, if not followed, could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination:

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  • No publication of confidential information about students, employees or businesses of the school district.
  • No posting that “defames or defames” the school board, school board members, school employees, or students.
  • All posts “related to or referring to the school district, students, and other employees” must be “professional.”
  • No posting of “profane, pornographic, obscene, indecent, lewd, vulgar or sexually offensive language, images or graphics or other communications which could reasonably be expected to cause substantial disruption of the school environment.
  • No posts with “inappropriate content that negatively impacts their ability to perform their job”.
  • No posting “identifiable images of a student or student’s family without the permission of the student and the student’s parent or legal guardian.”
  • Never accept current students as “friends” or “followers” or otherwise connect with students on social media sites unless there is a “family relationship or other type of appropriate relationship that originated outside the school setting.

The policy defines social media to include personal websites, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, online forums, virtual worlds and video sharing websites. It also has a catch-all that covers “any other social media generally available to the public or consumers that is not part of the school board’s technology network (e.g. Web 2.0 tools, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln, Flickr, Youtube).”

Gwynn Shamlin, the board’s general counsel, told the school board on May 5 that he helped develop the new policy after receiving a request from Nichola Hall, director of human resources.

“This looks at our employees’ social media usage, which may occur outside of our system, including internet and email usage,” Shamlin said. “So it’s the use of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Shamlin said the policy was developed so as not to violate employee rights.

“We had to walk a bit of a tightrope to develop this because there are free speech issues that you have to be careful of,” Shamlin said.

In his letter, Owens notes that a judge on May 10 struck down an employee policy used by Jackson Public Schools in Jackson, Mississippi that bears similarities to the one East Baton Rouge is considering. In that case, the judge ruled that the rules that the policy violated the Mississippi state constitution, “but also seriously threaten the public interest in public education.”

“By silencing its teachers, staff, employees, and their organizational advocate, JPS deprives its students, their parents, and other interested parties such as legislators and taxpayers, of important information necessary to fully understand and participate in their system of public education, and call for meaningful improvement where and when needed,” Special Circuit Judge Jess Dickinson wrote in the ruling.

In Louisiana, the city of New Orleans recently settled litigation over an employee social media policy in a 2020 case brought by two public library workers who said the policy violated their First Amendment rights. As part of the settlement, the city government removed the most controversial aspects of the previous policy, including a provision that city employees are not allowed to “engage or respond to negative or derogatory messages.” on city government.

Katie Schwartzmann, director of the First Amendment Clinic at Tulane University School of Law, helped represent these two city employees. She said the city of New Orleans’ policy was different in some ways, but she said the proposed policy in East Baton Rouge raises several potential First Amendment concerns. For example, the policy does not define “professional” when it comes to what employees post on the Internet and could be used to target otherwise protected free speech.

“What does it mean to be professional and is it meant to cover criticism of otherwise public issues?” says Schwartzmann.

Used book sales make a comeback from COVID Wed, 18 May 2022 20:30:54 +0000

The Friends of the Library are happy to organize their annual used book sale again this year. The sale has been held on the last Saturday in May for almost 20 years.

The Friends of the Fort Frances Public Library is a group of volunteers who support the library by raising funds to help with programming expenses and for special projects at the library.

Laurel Halvorsen, chair of the Friends of the Library committee, said the end of May has been a good date for the sale, as it corresponds to people preparing to prepare their cabins for the summer season.

“A lot of people come because it’s summer and they can get their reading for their cabins,” Halvorsen said.

Fort Frances Public Library Technology Center CEO Joan MacLean has never participated in one of the sales before. MacLean started working at the library shortly before the pandemic hit and the sale hasn’t happened since.

“I never really experienced selling books because I got here in October and then COVID came in March,” MacLean said. “So we missed my first book sale, then the second, and finally this year we got it. So I’ve never experienced it, but I can’t wait to be there.

Willie Anderson, left, and Brian Harris attended the last book sale of 2019. The popular event returns from COVID and is scheduled for May 28. – Stock photo

The library also has a pretty big contribution to the sale this year. During COVID, library staff have taken the opportunity to remove books from shelves that have not been read in a while.

“We took advantage of the shutdown and did – what we call in the library business – ‘weeding out,’” MacLean said. “We’ve weeded the collection, removing anything that hasn’t been in circulation for the past five years and boxed them up and ready to put on tables and hopefully sell.”

The sale will fill the library with tables, MacLean says.

“I thought it was just in the Shaw Room,” MacLean said. “But the books invade the whole library. There are books everywhere, which is really exciting. It’s a very big sale.

People with books, CDs or DVDs they would like to donate can drop them off at the library from Tuesday of next week. Materials should be in good condition, not beaten. They also don’t want textbooks, encyclopedias, or other books that might contain outdated information.

The sale starts at 10am on Saturday May 28 and people are encouraged to show up as soon as possible to get the best selection.

Since the Friends of the Library is a charitable association, all books will be sold by donation at no fixed price. Buyers are encouraged to bring their own bags if they expect to buy a lot of books. The books will remain laid out in the library for the following week as well if people want to look but cannot make it to the sale on Saturday.

These three actions show positive action in today’s trading! Wed, 18 May 2022 11:24:32 +0000

The Indian stock market which had started the day on a positive note ended flat during Wednesday’s trading session!

National Fertilizers Ltd, Triveni Engineering and Industries Ltd and JK Paper Ltd witnessed positive action in today’s session.

On Wednesday, the market opened on a positive note but ended flat. The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 54,208, down 0.20%. These three stocks emerged as the winners of Group A in today’s session.

National Fertilizers Ltd, part of S&P BSE SmallCap, is engaged in the production and marketing of Neem-coated urea, bio-fertilizers (solid and liquid) and other related industrial products. The stock rose 14.45% and the certificate closed at Rs 55.45.

Triveni Engineering and Industries, part of S&P BSE SmallCap, is engaged in diversified businesses, mainly classified into two segments: sugar and related businesses and engineering businesses. The stock jumped 13.49% and the certificate closed at Rs 317.50.

JK Paper Ltd, which is part of the S&P BSE 500, is the leader in office papers, coated papers and packaging boards. The stock jumped 9.79% and the certificate closed at Rs 362.65.

]]> Australian banks enter tech arms race as rising rates squeeze profits Tue, 17 May 2022 22:14:00 +0000

SYDNEY, May 18 (Reuters) – The 10-minute home loan – at the touch of a smartphone screen – is becoming the next frontier for Australia’s banking sector as rising interest rates quash a property boom fueled by the pandemic, eats into mortgage income and renews focus on cost-cutting technology.

The Big Four lenders have posted windfall profits during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a nearly one-third jump in house prices since 2020, but runaway inflation has driven shock rates higher this month and the expectations of many others. Read more

This has left banks, which derive the bulk of their profits from mortgages, looking to automate every step of the lending process and cut overhead costs such as staff and real estate to continue increasing profits from what analysts say to be a dwindling supply of money.

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So far, only the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) (CBA.AX), the largest lender, has put a speed target on its automation. He said a fully digitized loan service that went live on Tuesday could process an application in as little as 10 minutes.

But in this month’s earnings updates, National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB) (NAB.AX), Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) (ANZ.AX ) all pointed to automation to offset the impact of a cooling real estate market.

“They have an incentive to invest in technology and get to where CBA is because it drives people online,” said Hugh Dive, chief investment officer at Atlas Funds Management, which owns shares of major banks.

“They can improve their profits without increasing their turnover.”

Citi banking analyst Brendan Sproules in a client note said CEOs face an “unending battle to transform their 1970s/80s processes and systems into the modern digital age.”

“A rise in the cash rate may well provide the opportunity to accelerate this transformation faster than we initially thought.”

Instead of filling out paper forms and providing documents, to be checked and analyzed by back-office staff, a client would enter the address of a property they were considering buying along with their bank account ID. Their computer or smartphone camera would confirm their identity.

Algorithms determine the rest, such as employment history and likely purchase price.

A bank employee only intervenes if the software detects discrepancies in the data, people working on loan automation software have said.

Some smaller, online-only lenders are already automating mortgage applications, but – so far – not the Big Four, which dominate Australia’s AUD10 trillion ($7 trillion) property market with the three-quarters of loans by value.

“What we’re seeing right now is a lot of optimization using existing processes, using existing lending systems,” said Hessel Verbeek, head of banking strategy at KPMG Australia.

“The room for improvement will include when people actually start replacing some of the key systems.”

The banks did not say how much money they plan to spend on automating mortgage approvals, or how much they would save.

Of the A$3.6 billion invested by the Big Four in the first half of financial year 2022, 35% went to “productivity and growth”, up from 32% a year earlier, according to KPMG data.

NAB, the second-largest lender, said last week that its “investment in customer experience, efficiency and sustainable revenue” increased 46% in October-March compared to the same period a year earlier. , to reach 228 million Australian dollars. He said he wants every home loan to be automated by 2024.

ANZ, which has been losing mortgages for two years as staff shortages led to increased approval times, said it had only just begun to digitize processes.

“There is no doubt that we have some catching up to do,” CEO Shayne Elliott told The Australian.


Banks have been slow to begin automating retail products, in part because major compliance and risk management overhauls have undermined both capital budgets and management attention since then. that regulatory scrutiny increased significantly in 2018, analysts and industry participants said.

Rebecca Engel, head of Microsoft Corp’s Australian financial services unit (MSFT.O), said there was a “massive increase in technology investment, deployment, acceptance and trust” by banks, alongside increased regulatory attention and higher transaction volume during the pandemic. .

“The goal should be higher levels of assurance, higher levels of quality, at lower cost,” Engel told Reuters.

“It depends on the technology. »

($1 = 1.4282 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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PIFS General Secretary hosts Solomon Islands ‘Tok Stori’ session Tue, 17 May 2022 04:00:29 +0000 Hosted by Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna at the Forum Secretariat, the dialogue allowed Forum members to hear directly from the Solomon Islands government on the context of its security agreement with China.

Pacific Forum Leaders and Foreign Ministers attended a unique ‘Tok Stori’ hybrid event in Suva.

Last week’s event was launched by the Solomon Islands as part of a ministerial visit to Fiji, including an appeal to the Pacific Islands Forum Chair and Prime Minister of Fiji, the Honorable Josaia V. Bainimarama.

Hosted by Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna at the Forum Secretariat, the dialogue allowed Forum members to hear directly from the Solomon Islands government on the context of its security agreement with China.

In his opening address, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Jeremiah Manele and Minister of Policing and Corrections, Hon. Anthony Veke welcomed the opportunity to speak to regional colleagues.

The two ministers highlighted the value of regional security agreements, including the Biketawa, Boe and Aitutaki declarations, which also make available to members the good offices of the Forum Secretary General to facilitate dialogue on issues of concern. within the Forum family.

In tok-stori mode, Forum members reiterated their respect for the sovereign right of each member to conduct their national affairs without outside interference or coercion. Some members also took the opportunity to highlight some of their own regional security concerns, noting the Forum’s shared vision of a region of “peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity”. so that all people in the Pacific can live free, healthy and productive lives”. .

Minister Manele welcomed the opportunity to engage with Members, thanking those present for the opportunity to share an update on Solomon Islands’ efforts to address their national security concerns. He further thanked all Member countries for their comments and expressed his support for the sovereign decision taken by the Solomon Islands.

In his closing remarks, SG Puna noted Members’ significant and continued interest in this issue and reaffirmed the value of dialogue in resolving differences of opinion within the Forum family.

Source: press release

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Michel Gondry’s new film “The Book of Solutions” on sale at Cannes – Deadline Mon, 16 May 2022 20:09:00 +0000

EXCLUSIVE: Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind director Michel Gondry is preparing his next project which will be on sale on the Cannes market with the French seller Kinology.

As previously revealed, in-demand French star Pierre Niney (Frantz) will lead the cast of the French-language comedy à la mode The solution book (The Solution Book). Plot details are being kept under wraps on the scorching project, but we hear it will be about a filmmaker trying to overcome creative demons.

We also understand that the supporting cast will include Blanche Gardin, Camille Rutherford, Frankie Wallach and Vincent Elbaz. The producer is Georges Berman.

Oscar-winning Gondry returns to directing after a seven-year hiatus. Meanwhile, Niney is one of France’s most impressive young actors, known for films such as Yves Saint Laurent, Frantz and the next Masqueradewho plays in Cannes.

Promising projects keep coming to the Cannes market this year. As one buyer told us on Sunday, “It’s a market on steroids…for better and for worse.”

George MacKay, Lea Seydoux
CMP; Mega

Kinology’s Cannes sales list also includes Bertrand Bonello’s next feature The beast (The beast). 1917 and Munich star George MacKay is newly on board to join no time to die and Future Crimes starring Léa Seydoux in Bonello’s (Nocturama) intriguing project.

Currently in pre-production, the dystopian romance will be set between Paris and California and set in the near future where emotions have become a threat. Justin Taurand produces.

The project had been known for a while and was previously performed by Gaspard Ulliel, who tragically died in a skiing accident last year.

Seydoux will be in Cannes this week for the launch of Cronenberg Future Crimes. BAFTA Rising Star nominee MacKay will next be seen in Babak Anvari’s thrillers I came.

Also on the Kinology program, Luc Besson’s experimental project June and Johnwhich was shot during confinement, and the same director DogManstarring Caleb Landry Jones.

Please change definition of ‘fraud’, bankers urge RBI: Report Mon, 16 May 2022 06:23:00 +0000

Indian banks will jointly move the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) demanding to change the definition of the word ‘fraud’ which crushes businesses, leads to legalities even after the amount is refunded and petrifies financiers, a news outlet reported on Monday.

According to Economic period report, all the CEOs of major banks have decided to make a representation to RBI in a meeting to discuss the problems faced by lenders.

Under the RBI, the regulation requires all banks to mark a lending company and all of its accounts as a “fraud account” when a lender puts a fraud label. This leads to a process where lenders have to file complaints with the police and suffer a beating, which is often disproportionate to the size of the fraud.

All of these actions combined hinder the profits of the borrowing company and alienate creditors, investors and other stakeholders.

“We should have a system where the whole business is not tarnished because of a small embezzlement and its entire borrowing is declared as ‘fraud’. Such declaration and associated procedure as filing an FIR can compound a company’s problems, creating a negative perception and preventing banks from making lending decisions,” Economic period quoted Sunil Mehta, chief executive of industry body Indian Banks Association.

According to current banking regulations, the total loan of Rs 15,000 crore will be subject to scrutiny and will be classified as fraud even though it is a fraud of Rs 300 crore that has surfaced. This leads to the initiation of criminal proceedings and full provisioning on their book. The banks, in this case, want RBI to limit the fraud categorization to just Rs 300 and not the full amount.