ABOVE Nanik Lalchandani's desk in Kowloon hangs a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. It is a story which ends with Everybody blaming Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. It is a story which Mr Lalchandani is trying to avoid. Since early this year, Mr Lalchandani has been fighting Hong Kong's banks over a widely implemented policy imposing a surcharge of 0.5 per cent on cash deposits over $20,000. While no set policy exists, most Hong Kong banks have implemented a charge. Both Hong Kong Bank and American Express, for example, impose a fee of 0.5 per cent on deposits over $20,000. In other cases, the rules are even more severe. Bank of China has put in place a 0.5 per cent charge on deposits beginning as low as $5,000. As an owner of a small business, who regularly deposits large sums of cash, Mr Lalchandani felt it necessary to get to the bottom of the rationale behind the charge. Having no luck with his tellers, he began writing letters to individuals with more clout. Among those he wrote to were the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Legislative Council, Hong Kong Bank, Financial Secretary Hamish Macleod, the Consumer Council and American Express Bank. From their replies, it became apparent the problem stemmed largely from the US and Hong Kong dollar peg. The logic ran like this. When excess cash held by banks was returned to the Hong Kong note-issuing banks, they received payment in US dollars at the pegged exchange rate of HK$7.80 per US dollar. But, when they received the US dollars, they had to exchange them at the market exchange rate, which has been around HK$7.73-7.75. And, unless the bank charged its client, this discrepancy meant a loss for the bank. ''We regret that we have had to impose maintenance fees on cash deposits, but the gap between the pegged rate and the market rate has been so wide this year that we were forced, along with all other banks - except for the note-issuing banks - to introduce and increase our fees,'' a spokesman for American Express said. Other banks offered a similar line of explanation. Despite the apologies, Mr Lalchandani still feels the charge is unjust. He subsequently convinced his bank, UCO Bank, to lift the 0.5 per cent charge on deposits over $15,000. Some businesses reportedly have managed to do the same. But the principle still angers Mr Lalchandani and he will continue to send letters until he feels the issue has been resolved. ''It's everybody's problem,'' he said. ''If they are losing, they should protest to the Government. They can't throw the baby in our lap.''