Bank robbers have taken hostages at a bank in the US with armed police laying siege to the building in a tense standoff.

Police, who have urged people to stay away, said a Wells Fargo bank branch in St. Cloud, Minnesota, had been targeted on Thursday afternoon.

The hostages are believed to include staff but numbers have not been confirmed while the terrifying situation is still developing.

A large crowd of people has formed across the street after the attempted robbery turned into a hostage situation.

One hostage was filmed seemingly having been released from the bank, followed by a person throwing a pile of cash out the door.

Video later surfaced appearing to show a second hostage had been released as the stand-off continued.

Images from the scene
Officers have surrounded the building

No injuries had been reported but local officers said they had deployed all available resources to the scene, spokeswoman Lt. Lori Ellering told Fox News.

The FBI are also said to be assisting.

At about 6:30 p.m, a video was shared on social media appearing to show a single person slowly leaving the bank with arms raised.

Approaching SWAT team members stood near the door as a crowd nearby cheered loudly and gave out a round of applause. They later led the person to safety.

Video of a second person reaching police later emerged.

A bank spokesperson, Staci Schiller, told St. Cloud Times: “We can confirm a hostage situation at Wells Fargo’s St. Cloud South branch, located at 200 33rd Avenue South.

Images from the scene
One person was seen being released
Footage from the scene
Officers have asked people to stay away

"We are cooperating with local law enforcement and will do whatever we can to assist the authorities in their investigation.

"We recognize this is a traumatic moment for the community and our colleagues. The safety and security of our customers and employees is our most important priority.”