London:  Mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group Plc on Thursday said it planned to cut 15,000 jobs at the middle-level as a part of efforts to save 1.5 billion pounds (USD 2.4 billion) annually by 2014.

In addition to job cuts, the banking entity would simplify its business in order to cut annual costs.

"Simplify the group to improve service and deliver 1.5 billion pounds of annual savings in 2014 through better end-to-end processes and IT platforms, a delay red management structure and simpler legal structure, centralized support functions and a reduction of 15,000 roles," Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said in a statement.

The bank, which is 41 per cent state-owned, said the planned saving would enable it to invest an additional 2 billion pounds between 2011 and 2014 to grow its core operations, which include retail banks Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and insurer Scottish Widows.

"Our aim is to become the best bank for customers. We have around 30 million customers, iconic brands, including Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows, and high-quality, committed people," Horta-Osorio said.

He said that most of the job cuts would be in middle management and back office roles, rather than in branches.

"Our focus will be on reduction in middle management, bringing our top team closer to the customers and front-line staff and are today committing to keeping total branch numbers at the same levels, excluding the European Union mandated sale through the period," Horta-Osorio said.

Lloyds would also seek to attract more wealthy customers in the UK by expanding its wealth business and cut its presence in about 30 countries to less than half by 2014.

(Agencies)