We address the question of how can publicly accessible information be used to make a map of the political actors and their leanings, that would benefit both policy makers and stakeholders in the European Commission’s ‘Better regulation agenda’ and contribute to social stability. We explore this possibility by using data from the Transparency Register and the open public consultations of the European Commission in the area of Banking and Finance. We compare lobbying organizations active in this area according to three criteria: (i) their formal categorization in the Transparency Register, (ii) their self-declared goals and activities, and (iii) their leanings towards policy issues as derived from their responses to public consultations. We combine methods from information retrieval, text mining, and network analysis to obtain insights on the policy arena. We find that constructing a similarity network based on preference patterns adds a crucial dimension in the understanding of how lobby organizations engage in the policy making process.