Marcello Grimaldi has been elected as the new President of UNIREC (Italian Debt Collection Agencies Association) member of Fenca

Marcello Grimaldi is the new President of UNIREC. As soon as he was elected, Grimaldi surpassed the other two candidates Giovanni Cecere and Simone Caraffini, confirming himself as the  President of the italian trade association of debt collection agencies.

Born in 1970, Sicilian, Grimaldi graduated in Law from the University of Messina and just over 30 years old joined the FIRE Group, where he almost immediately assumed the coordination of the Legal function and later also personnel management. From 2018 to 2022 he was UNIREC Councilor with responsibility for the labor market and previously, from 2014 to 2018 he was Vice President of UNIREC, with responsibility for the labor market and relations with institutions and authorities. Furthermore, from 2017 to 2021 he was President of the UNIREC/Consumers Forum and participated in the drafting of the Code of Conduct, coordinating its subsequent update. Since 2015 he has been Delegate for Italy and member of the Legal Committee in FENCA – Federation of European National Collection Associations.

In addition to knowing the legislative panorama of the sector well, starting from the European legislation on NPLs, and having directly followed the labor law questions of the category, Grimaldi presented himself with a full program of things to do and we will soon see him at work faced with a series of deadlines starting with the application of the European Directive on NPLs.

We reached Marcello on the phone for a hot interview right after his election.

An election in the runoff was expected, but your candidacy received broad support right from the start. Do you explain to us what was your secret about it?

My candidacy was born from a specific reflection on the moment that the sector is experiencing which is particularly difficult in general, but above all from a regulatory point of view. In this regard, I felt that not only a political but also a technical presidency could be useful for the association to try to better read the present, from a regulatory point of view, already possessing a knowledge of the processes underlying the association. We are faced with rather stringent issues, starting with the application of the European directive on NPLs, which is the first EU act that directly concerns the collection sector and which implies a new organization of the market. It is important that the implementation of the directive is consistent with the current regulation of the Italian market. In this regard, it is necessary to intensify the dialogue with the MEF (Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance) , trying to better interpret and represent the needs of the market, in order to be able to provide useful suggestions, at a technical level, for a good implementation of the directive. A series of further needs are related to this issue, starting with the reform of the sector that we have been pursuing for years which unfortunately, due to various difficulties, have never been transformed into reality. At this moment we could also proceed through the interpretative circulars which, as happened in the years 2011-2012, have become administrative practices that have helped the sector to face the new challenges. It is essential to be aware that debt collection  companies can play a fundamental role for society because on the one hand they carry out the collection activity and on the other they assume an advisory function towards the debtor by helping him, also thanks to the new regulatory instruments, to adjust its economic position, in its own interests.

Still from a regulatory point of view, I am ready to follow the evolution of the new discipline on fair compensation, the application of which may have an impact on our agents, therefore a discussion with the parliamentary institutions is necessary to review some critical points present in the text.

Another thing that is particularly close to my heart is the distinction between debt collection companies and call centres. The former must be registered with the ROC and meet a series of requirements for which they cannot be confused with mere communication operators. I’d like to resume this discussion with MIMIT (formerly Mise) and try to intervene once and for all on this identification, because the equivalence with call centers can have an extremely negative impact on the entire sector.

I also hope to resume relations with the client to evaluate the correct legal regulation of any contractual clauses.

Finally, there is the issue of cost increases which must be managed at all levels. On the one hand, action will need to be taken in the coming months to contain the increase in labor costs linked to the renewal of the CCNL for professional firms. On the other hand there are the huge investments to adapt the companies in terms of cyber security

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