IMF’s tax on finance firms is “inappropriate and arbitrary”

The Geneva Association of the world's 80 largest insurance groups has written to the G20 group of nations to protest at their industry's inclusion in proposals for a global financial services tax, the FT reports.

It called the tax proposal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to insurers as "inappropriate and arbitrary" and says it could increase insurance costs and reduce the amount of insurance available.

The G20 on Friday called for more work on the IMF's proposal for a levy on the balance sheets and profits of financial services companies, which is designed to fund future bank rescues.

Victim of consequences

The Geneva Association wrote to G20 finance ministers and central bank governors that the insurance industry did not cause the crisis, but was "a victim of the consequences".

"Aside from a small number of well publicised examples, the insurance industry weathered the financial storm in relatively good health," the letter says.