Here are five things you need to know this morning:

Bank earnings begin: There’s always a ton to unpack in the quarterly earnings of Canada’s big banks, but one metric that I like to pay attention to is the amount of loans the banks have on their books that they’re worried might go pear-shaped. Known as ‘provisions for credit losses’ or loan-loss provisions more commonly, they’re a metric the banks reveal every quarter that show how much money they’re setting aside to potentially write off loans that are in danger of going bad. The loans themselves often end up turning out fine, and the banks end up moving those funds to the other side of their accounting ledger later on. But by tracking the size of that loan pile and whether or not it’s getting bigger or smaller, we can learn a lot about which way the banks think things are headed. On that metric, the news out of Scotiabank this morning was noteworthy, as the lender revealed its loan-loss provisions rose to $962 million last quarter. That’s up by 51 per cent from last year’s level and even higher than the $922 million that analysts were expecting. It’s down from $1.2 billion the previous quarter, however, so is perhaps a sign that things are trending in a more positive direction. The decline on a quarterly basis is the first time we’ve seen that after six quarters in a row of increase.

One-time items pile up at BMO: The overall numbers were a little weaker at BMO, which also reported quarterly numbers premarket on Tuesday. BMO’s loan-loss provisions also rose sharply to $627 million, up from $446 last quarter and $217 million the year before. It was also more than the $514 million that analysts were expecting. On the whole, the bank earned $2.56 per share on an adjusted basis, less than the $3.02 that analysts were expecting. Profits were dragged down by a number of one-time items, including a $371 million tax expense related to new CRA rules, an after-tax $1.4 billion loss due to interest rate changes between the announcement of its recent Bank of West acquisition and the deal’s closing, and a $417 million “special assessment” charge from U.S. banking regulator the FDIC. The FDIC has been recalculating what it charges to insure deposits after the tumult at regional banks like Silicon Valley and others last year, and said last year it would be announcing special assessments for 114 different banks as a result.

Air Transat lands labour peace: It took longer than the airline probably had hoped, but Air Transat has finally managed to hammer out a deal with its largest union — and crucially get the majority of members to vote for it. The Montreal-based airline’s 2,100 flight attendants have voted 62 per cent in favour of a new labour deal that will see their total compensation increase by 30 per cent by 2027. The union, CUPE, had made previous agreements with the airline but workers didn’t vote for it so getting it ratified is a win — even if it was a razor thin margin of victory. After two previous deals failed to ratify, a mediator was called in to get a deal over the line. Strictly speaking, union membership didn’t vote for the deal itself, just to abide by the mediator’s recommendation that they take it, but regardless, the move will make them the highest paid in Canada, CUPE trumpeted in a press release. After years of turbulence brought about by the pandemic, then worker unrest and an airline failure just this week, the sector is in dire need of some sunny skies.

Parkland makes a move: Gas station owner Parkland Corp. is selling 157 gas stations across Canada. In and of itself, that’s a minor development for the Alberta-based company that owns and operates more than 4,000 stations in 25 countries. But it’s nonetheless interesting to observe since it clearly seems to be in reaction to pressure the company is facing from activist shareholders pushing for asset sales and other changes at the company. Parkland has been thrown into uncharacteristic uncertainty since two directors nominated by its biggest shareholder, Simpson Oil, abruptly resigned from the company a few weeks ago. It’s worth watching to see if any more moves might follow.

Zoom shares are following their name: Shares in Zoom Video Communications are up about 10 per cent in premarket trading on Tuesday after the video service company revealed quarterly results late Monday that were much better than expected. Sales increased, along with profit, and the company announced it plans to buy back US$1.5 billion of its own shares. That’s the sort of thing investors love to hear, even if that buying back will be happening at a relative discount from previous lofty highs. After explosive growth early in the pandemic, Zoom is one of many former stock darlings that have seen a massive stock price plunge following a slowdown in demand. Zoom shares were trading at about $63 apiece at the close of trading on the NYSE on Monday. That’s down by about 15 per cent in the past year, and well off the all-time high of almost $600 they hit in the frothy days of 2020.