For remortgage cases of £350,000 or less the lender will carry out drive-by valuations unless the properties involved cannot be viewed from a public place.
The other exceptions to the rule are when there have been major extension works that are not visible from the road and when major internal renovations such as loft conversions have taken place.
But the lender’s decision has raised a few eyebrows, with one broker questioning whether it represents sensible risk management.
The broker, who did not wish to be named, says: “RBSIP is proudly announcing that it will not even visit properties when arranging mortgages despite all available house price data indicating that further falls can be expected.”
But Steve Carruthers, head of corporate accounts at RBSIP, says it will only instruct drive-bys where it considers there to be little risk.
He says: “We will instruct drive-bys on remortgages when we consider this is appropriate and based on a number of factors including the level of risk, LTV and loan amount. One of the benefits of drive-bys is that they allow applications to be processed more efficiently.”
In a separate development, RBSIP launched two five-year fixed rate products at up to 90% LTV last week.
The first deal is a five-year fixed rate at 6.54% with a £999 arrangement fee offered to advisers with Connells Group and appointed representatives of Legal & General Partnership Services.
The other product is to be shared across all mortgage clubs for directly authorised brokers. The rate is 6.69% with a maximum loan size of £150,000 and a £299 arrangement fee.
DA brokers will also be able to access a NatWest two-year fixed rate buy-to-let remortgage deal at 5.95% with a maximum LTV of 75% and a £1,599 arrangement fee.