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LAS VEGAS — Credit unions bent on reaching the youth market need look no farther than how their Web site looks and functions because virtual settings are more important than brick and mortar branches, according to the outspoken 21-year-old director of USC CU in Los Angeles, Justin Ho.

The blunt-talking Ho, a junior business major at the University of Southern California who has been serving on the board of the California CU for two years and now finds himself preaching to CU groups on Gen Y, faults CUs for operating stodgy, “unworkable Web sites that often are unprofessional and a turnoff to young people.”

Addressing a throng of volunteers and CEOs at the annual National Directors’ Convention here, Ho said banks seem to have caught on quicker than CUs in attracting young people because, for one thing, their online sites are more attractive and utilitarian. He pointed to Wells Fargo as an example.

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