My question is this - was I just as safe doing that as logging on at home fom my encrypted network?
Yes because the bank's website encryption works from the bank to your laptop over any connection. (Encryption over the internet, as well as encryption over your WiFi or Ethernet connection, or any WiFi hot spot).
Where the hot spot's can be a problem is logging into forum sites, or places such as web email, facebook, twitter, where your password isn't protected. Many mobile phone apps don't use secure ways of connecting to these sites.
Also when you're posting on tbb the forum post isn't encrypted over the connection, so there is the possibility that someone else using the hotspot could see and/or tamper with it.
James BT Infinity 2 19/09/2012 - Estimate 44.6/6.5 - Install 52/12 - Actual 46 / 8 Mbps
Huawei VDSL -> Draytek router -> Apple Airport Extreme -> Belkin Switch -> Windows/Mac/Linux/NAS/Phone
13 years of broadband - 1999 ntl:(512k/1M)/BTbusiness(2M)/Metronet(2M)/Bulldog(8M/16M)/BE(19M/16M)/BT FTTC(46M)