Britain's financial watchdog said on Tuesday it will introduce tougher safeguards from February on how financial adverts are approved, aiming to crack down on "harmful" promotions.

Until now a company regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can approve financial promotions posted by unregulated companies.

"This has caused harm, with firms approving adverts for products they don’t understand, as well as adverts that are unclear, unfair or misleading," the FCA said in a statement.

The FCA said firms approving marketing for unregulated companies will now have to demonstrate they have the necessary skills and expertise.

Regulated firms must begin applying from November to the watchdog to continue approving adverts ahead of the new rules coming into force on February 7.

"Firms approving financial promotions will also be required to report regularly on what they sign off and on any concerning adverts they cancel approval for, helping the FCA to move faster to crack down on rogue adverts," the watchdog said. (Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by David Holmes)