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Public Protests Don’t Put Me Off Investing In Barclays PLC

Over the past five years, banks have been on the receiving end of a substantial amount of public anger. For instance, the ‘Occupy’ campaign targeted banks, gaining popularity and notoriety in doing so.

Politicians have also used the banks to their advantage — blaming them for the credit crunch when, in reality, it was the framework within which the banks operated that was the problem.

Indeed, if the banks were operating within the rules set by the FSA then surely the banks cannot shoulder the blame? The FSA was created and monitored by the government so surely ultimate blame rests with politicians and not with bankers?

Anyway, suffice to say that a vast proportion of the UK population blames the banks for the crisis and the general feeling among ordinary people is one of substantial dislike towards the banks.

So, news that a petition of 25,000 people (including double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah) has been established should not faze the bank or its shareholders. It is merely ‘the norm’.

The petition, of course, surrounds the decision by Barclays (LSE: BARC) (NYSE: BCS.US) to terminate banking services for 250 money-transfer companies amid fears over money laundering and terrorist financing.

Although around 25 money-transfer agencies will still be able to bank with Barclays, none facilitates payment to Somalia (which is where the link with Somali-born Mo Farah comes in).

As mentioned, dislike of banks is nothing new, and so negative headlines such as this should be viewed as an opportunity to buy rather than a reason to sell.

In addition, Barclays currently yields 2.5%, with dividends per share expected to increase to 11p in 2014. This would equate to a yield of 3.9% at the current share price. Furthermore, trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 8.2 versus a sector P/E of 18.9 highlights the relative value that Barclays offers.

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> Peter owns shares in Barclays.