However, a police source told Reuters that it was not a terrorist attack.
Local French media also reported that one of the hostage takers had been arrested.
Local prosecutor Frédéric Fèvre said others were still on the run.
Witnesses reported gunfire at 7pm local time, prompting an enormous police response in an area riven with tension following the November 13 attacks on Paris that killed at least 130 people.
Several armed men were found holed up in a house in Roubaix, a city a kilometre from the Belgian border, following a burglary gone wrong, taking a male bank official and a woman and two children, believed to be the man’s family, hostage.
Police raided the premises and brought the incident to an end at about 10.30pm local time
Some of the men have been arrested, according to police sources quoted by AFP.
The hostages are “safe”, said sources, but that there were some injuries.