‘It’s like being fined for speeding when you’ve never driven’

Tim Breedon, chief executive of Legal & General, Lord Levene, chairman of Lloyd's, and Andrew Moss, chief executive of Aviva, said the International Monetary Fund's tax proposals should not be levied on insurance firms that have taken no taxpayers' money, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

"Insurance companies are not banks, and should not be treated as such by the regulators and politicians," Breedon said.

"No major UK-listed insurer was forced to cease trading, ask for taxpayer funding or go to the stock market to raise fresh capital.

Deeply flawed

Lord Levene said: "The proposals from the IMF which suggest that insurers should pay into a financial stability regime are deeply flawed.

"Throughout this crisis the insurance industry has functioned normally and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that core insurance activities have contributed to financial instability or create systemic risk.

Moss said: "This is a case of mistaken identity. It's like being fined for speeding when you've never been behind the wheel."