U.S. Capitol building U.S. Capitol building, Washington, D.C. (Source: Shutterstock)

Credit unions and their trade groups spent $18.5 million on lobbying and campaign contributions during the 2017-2018 election cycle, according to a new report by Americans for Financial Reform.

The organization and the Center for Responsive Politics, which created data sets for the report, said that credit unions and their trade organizations spent $14.6 million on lobbying during that time and $3.8 million in campaign contributions.

The groups reported that banks and other “financial interests” spent almost $2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions during those two years.

While including credit unions in the report, AFR, a liberal group centered its focus on banks.

“The last election cycle demonstrated yet again that Wall Street political spending produces policies that will do lasting financial damage to most Americans, including massive tax cuts for big banks, fewer consumer and investor protections, and other policies that that drive inequality and economic vulnerability,” Lisa Donner, executive director, of Americans for Financial Reform, said in releasing the report.

CUNA alone spent almost $13 million on lobbying and campaign contributions, placing it 12th among financial trade groups. The National Association of Realtors spent the most by far, some $144.7 million.

By comparison, the American Bankers Association spent almost $26 million, placing it third among trade groups.

NAFCU, which spends less money on lobbying and campaign contributions, spent almost $5.5 million on political efforts.