Fact check: The Central Bank of Lebanon was not destroyed by the Beirut port explosion

four black planes flying in sky

A number of posts on social media claim that the August 4 explosion in Beirut affected the Central Bank of Lebanon and that this bank has links to the Rothschild family. This is inaccurate and part of an antisemetic conspiracy theory.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

A Facebook post with over 220 shares as of August 6 (here) includes the line: “EXPLOSION TAKES OUT ROTHSCHILD BANK”. Other posts on Facebook (here , here) and Twitter (here here) mention a “Rothschild bank” in relation to the explosion. Many of the posts share the same screenshot of a Google Maps view of Beirut showing both the site of the explosion and the Central Bank of Lebanon circled with a green annotation.

The Central Bank of Lebanon is located over two kilometres (bdl.gov.lb/pages/display/1) from the location of the explosion. A forensic analysis of the explosion by investigative journalism website Bellingcat (here) suggests a shockwave from the blast damaged windows and doors of buildings up to several kilometres away from the port. But there are no reports that the Central Bank of Lebanon suffered serious damage.

A Reuters journalist saw no major damage to the central bank in Beirut after the blast. A central bank source told Reuters there were no major injuries or deaths. A partition fell, windows were shattered and some tiles were ripped out, but anything needed operationally was fixed the same night of the explosion. Another central bank source said that there was “very minor damage.”

The Central Bank of Lebanon, or Banque du Liban, was established in 1963. It is the state-owned central bank of Lebanon and is not under the control of private investors (here).

References to the Rothschild family frequently feature in conspiracy theories that rely on antisemetic tropes (here , here). Rothschild & Co is a multinational financial advisory group and the strongest modern link between the family and banking. Rothschild & Co is headed by Alexandre Rothschild, a scion of the banking dynasty founded by Mayer Amschel Rothschild in the 18th century.

It reported a net profit of 233 million euros in 2019 (here) and 303 million euros in 2018 (here). The company deals in financial advice, wealth and asset management and merchant banking. The 2019 annual report for Rothschild and Co does not reference ownership of central banks.

VERDICT

False. The Central Bank of Lebanon building in Beirut was not destroyed by the explosion in the city on August 4. The bank is not owned or controlled by the Rothschild family.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts (here) .

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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