AXA has issued a statement saying it complies 'fully' with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), but Thompsons believes the company is avoiding the issues it has raised in a report published last Friday.

"What is ludicrous about asking to be told how much money AXA make out of UK motorists?" asked Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons.

"AXA financial statements do not report profits for UK car insurance separately. We are simply arguing that the company should be transparent about how lucrative this captive market is for them."

Under IFRS 8, a company has an absolute requirement to report separate trading figures for an operating segment (rule 8.5) if it contributes 10% or more to its overall profit (8.13).

In addition, even if it does not meet this 'quantitative threshold', IFRS 8 says a company should publish the figures if they would be 'useful to users of the financial statements' (8.13) or are of 'continuing significance' (8.17).

Tom Jones added: "If the company does not publish the figures because they do not contribute 10% or more of its group profits, it should say so categorically.

"But, even if that is the case, there is still a requirement under IFRS to publish the figures separately because they would undoubtedly be useful and significant given AXA's endless complaints about 'compensation culture' and 'whiplash fraud' and demands for Government measures to restrict access to proper justice.

"There needs to be a fair and transparent system for ensuring that all providers of what is a legally-required purchase are accountable and meet minimum standards."