Topshop owner Arcadia has signed up to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh joining a raft of retailers which have pledged their support to the new code.

The retail group hit out at “wholly unreasonable” reports that it had not responded to the safety initiative and said it only received an official copy of the proposed Accord at 8.50pm last night after it requested it from the Ethical Trading Initiative.

Arcadia said it was “deeply saddened” by the recent events in Bangladesh, where a building which housed five clothing factories collapsed last month killing over 1,100 people.

The country only represents a small percentage of its supply chain. To the year to date, Topshop has purchased less than £25,000 of goods.

“However, in order to show support for the initiative that this Accord is proposing to undertake, we as a group will be signing up.  This will be done on the condition that we understand the final costs to us, which to date has not been made clear,” it said.

The retailer said it reserves the right to review its participation if the Accord does not achieve its stated aims within an agreed timescale.

So far 26 major retailers including John Lewis, Primark, Tesco and New Look have sign up to the Accord.