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JERUSALEM, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The board of Bank Mizrahi , Israel's third-largest lender, has approved a plan that calls for the early retirement of 300 workers through the year 2021 at a cost of 300 million shekels ($78 million).
* The cost of the plan will be incurred in the 2016 year end report and it is expected to save the bank 70 million shekels a year, Mizrahi said on Wednesday.
* Israel's banking regulator last year ordered banks to become more efficient and expects the banking system to save at least 1 billion shekels a year starting in 2020 from redundancies, branch closures and using more technology.
* ($1 = 3.8495 shekels) (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)