Forgot to send a card or order flowers for Mother's Day on Sunday? Not to worry. There's still time to check out Mom's bank.

As a token of love and concern, Bauer Financial Reports suggests children investigate whether their mothers' banks are safe and sound by visiting the Coral Gables, Fla., company's Web site. Bauer rates banks on a five-star system, with five stars signifying "superior" and one star indicating the bank is "troubled."

Most banks are in good standing, but it's still a good idea to check, Bauer said in a press release touting its Mother's Day gift idea.

"Then call your Mom and tell her how safe her bank is," the company said. "She'll thank you and tell you how wonderful you are for being so concerned."

Just don't let on to Mom that the service is free.

Don't be surprised if Provident Financial Group Inc. serves pizza to shareholders at its annual meeting this month.

The Cincinnati banking company recently obtained warrants to buy 921,000 shares of Noble Roman's Inc., a struggling Indiana pizza chain and Provident loan customer. In exchange for the warrants, Provident agreed to forgive more than $1.8 million of principal and interest, according to a Feb. 23 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A Provident spokesman said the company does not comment on its relationship with customers.

But Provident is clearly rooting for Noble Roman's recovery. In the last 18 months, the pizza maker has awarded warrants for about 3.7 million shares of its stock to Provident as payment for restructuring roughly $9 million of debt. If Provident were to redeem all the warrants, it would own a 44% stake in Noble Roman's.

- Laura Pavlenko Lutton and Alan Kline

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