Financial lobbying up at the start of 2012

Recently, Clearing House has spent much of its time and resources representing banking interests, as regulators are hard at work getting the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform, including the Consumer Protection Bureau, up and running.

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The group focused its lobbying efforts on enhanced capital and liquidity requirements for banks, the Volcker Rule, and establishing "living wills" for banks in case of failure, among other initiatives. Clearing House also spent time focusing on new cybersecurity legislation, and efforts to regulate for the first time international remittance transfers of cash.

Other financial powerhouses also increased their spending on lobbying in the first quarter of 2012.

MasterCard spent $1.3 million on lobbying during the first quarter, a 43 percent increase over that period last year.

The credit card giant lobbied on a variety of issues, including legislation pertaining to cybersecurity. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), banking fees, consumer regulations and money access in international markets have stocked the lobbying docket for MasterCard’s 2012 agenda so far.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also bolstered its first quarter lobbying spending by 85 percent. The business advocate spent a staggering $20.2 million this quarter, nearly half of all its 2011 lobbying spending.

The American Bankers Association spent $2.5 million on lobbying during the first three months of the year, a 24 percent increase over that time frame in 2011. Goldman Sachs had a modest increase of just more than 4.55 percent over last year’s first quarter expenditures, paying out nearly $1.4 million from its lobbying shop this quarter.

Peter Schroeder contributed to this report.