NEW YORK - Belgium's ASLK-CGER Bank will close its New York branch by September after being bought by Fortis, a Belgian-Dutch insurance company.

A spokesman for the bank in Brussels said the branch will be closed because U.S. banking laws prohibit insurance companies from owning banks.

The savings bank will be the second foreign institution in two years to give up its U.S. banking license after a merger with an insurance company.

Amsterdam-based ING Bank shut down its New York operation last year, taking out an investment banking license instead.

ASLK-CGER opened its New York branch in 1989 as part of a move to expand international corporate business, develop new sources of funding, and gain experience in asset securitization, particularly mortgage-backed securities.

The bank had some $775 million in U.S. assets.

The Brussels-based spokesman said the bank is also planning to shut down a London-branch as part of a strategic move to refocus on activity in the Benelux countries.

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